If you are on a low income, you may be able to get housing benefit to help cover your housing costs. Since April 2008, private tenants' entitlement to housing benefit is calculated on the basis of Local Housing Allowance.
What is Local Housing Allowance
Local Housing Allowance is a housing benefit scheme for tenants who rent their accommodation from private landlords. The scheme sets out maximum eligible rent amounts you can claim in housing benefit, for different areas in Northern Ireland. These amounts depend on types and sizes of properties within each area.
Local Housing Allowance rates are published on the Housing Executive's website. Before you start a tenancy, check the maximum allowance you are entitled to receive for your housing costs.
When deciding how much help to award you, the Housing Executive takes into consideration the rate of your Local Housing Allowance, along with size of your household, income and capital.
Am I entitled to this benefit?
For migrant workers, access to housing benefit depends upon country of origin and is restricted for some categories. There are strict regulations regarding eligibility for housing benefit. Many migrant workers are ineligible due to various reasons and conditions of their immigration status.
However, some migrant workers are entitled to claim housing benefit. Nationals from EEA countries, who are habitually resident and have the right to reside in the Common Travel Area (CTA) are eligible.
This area is complicated and depends on your work history or the work history of your family. If you need advice about housing benefit, contact the Law Centre NI, Housing Rights or your other local advice agency.