When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Welfare reform

You can’t get help with rates as part of your Universal Credit claim. Instead, you will be able to apply for a rates rebate. Land & Property Services will be in charge of managing the rates rebate system.

Housing Benefit is being replaced by a new benefit - universal credit. The way your housing costs are worked out will be quite different under the universal credit system, particularly if you are a homeowner.

The government has also announced further plans to change the way that help with housing costs is given to people on low incomes. 

The biggest change to Housing Benefit is the introduction of the bedroom tax. But there are other important changes too, which could mean you receive less help with your rent. This will be particularly relevant if you've moved from DLA to PIP or if you have a large family. 

When working out your Housing Benefit, the Housing Executive gives you premiums and allowances for everyone living in your home. These allowances and premiums are changing under welfare reform and this may mean that some people receive less Housing Benefit.

You cannot get benefits to help pay your mortgage. The only help available is a loan that can cover some of the interest you pay on your mortgage. This loan is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). 

Your universal credit claim will include help with your rent or your mortgage. You will still have to make a separate claim for help with your rates. You make this claim through Land & Property Services.


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