NIFHA has today warmly welcomed the publication of the Welfare Reform Mitigations Working Group report.
The Group, tasked by the NI Executive to design a package of measures to limit the impact of welfare reforms to be introduced under the ‘Fresh Start’ agreement, was chaired by Professor Eileen Evason.
In response to the report, NIFHA’s Chief Executive Cameron Watt, said:
“Professor Evason and the Working Group she led are to be congratulated for designing a holistic package of mitigation for benefit cuts in such a short space of time.
“The recommended measures will provide significant, if time-limited, help to people in affected groups including carers, people with disabilities and those liable for the benefit cap.”
He added: “Especially welcome are the proposed investments in additional advice services for people affected. A ‘welfare reform information network’ including housing association staff is envisaged to provide basic information to claimants and signpost people to advice agencies where appropriate.
“However, greater clarity is urgently needed on if and when the Bedroom Tax will be introduced in Northern Ireland. The Fresh Start agreement implied it would not be introduced at all, whereas Evason assumes it will be, but with full mitigation. Social landlords need a clear steer on this as soon as possible to properly support tenants through the changes ahead.”