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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing benefit

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Almost everyone who lives in a property in Northern Ireland has to pay rates. Rates pay for services throughout Northern Ireland; like schools, hospitals and roads; and for services in your local area; like bin collection, parks and leisure centres. The amount you pay depends on the value of your property and which council area it is in. You can get help to pay your rates if you're on a low income or receiving certain benefits.

Almost everyone who lives in a property in Northern Ireland has to pay rates. Rates pay for services throughout Northern Ireland; like schools, hospitals and roads; and for services in your local area; like bin collection, parks and leisure centres. The amount you pay depends on the value of your property and which council area it is in. You can get help to pay your rates if you're on a low income or receiving certain benefits.

The bedroom tax is a reduction in Housing Benefit for people who live in a property that is owned by NIHE or a housing association and that is too large for their household. Its proper name is the “social sector size criteria”, but most people call it the “bedroom tax”.

If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to benefits to help you pay your rent. Most people who rent privately have their entitlement to benefit worked out under a system called Local Housing Allowance.

If you rent your home from the Housing Executive or a housing association and you receive Housing Benefit, the amount of money you receive could be reduced if your home has too many bedrooms. Find out how many rooms your household is allowed.

Tenancy and floating support services can help you manage in your home. Many of these services are funded through the Housing Executive’s Supporting People programme.

Your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will be reduced if the Government says you have too many bedrooms. However, for the next few years, the money that you lose will be replaced from a separate fund. Politicians at the Assembly have set up a fund to offset these cuts to Housing Benefit, meaning that most people in Northern Ireland will not actually lose out financially because of the changes. 

Housing benefit is a social security benefit which helps people on low income with their housing costs. It can cover rent, rates and some service charges. There are different systems for working out housing benefit for social tenants, who rent from the Housing Executive or housing associations, and for private tenants, who rent from a private landlord or agent. 

 

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