Housing service urges people to get advice

Housing Rights Service (HRS) is urging people who are worried about paying the rent or mortgage this month to contact them for advice.

The local advice charity is also encouraging people to attend upcoming court hearings for possession, as it could mean the difference between keeping or losing the home.

Ursula Toner, Advice Services Manager with Housing Rights Service, said: “We know that there are many Lisburn residents faced with the prospect of losing their home. It is understandable that people will often put off dealing with debt until after Christmas and we want to let them know that free housing debt advice and assistance is available.”

Housing Rights Service provides advice to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including both mortgage debt and rent arrears advice. The charity also provides a unique emergency advice service in court. Advisers from Housing Rights Service attend courts on the day of possession hearings to help homeowners and tenants who don’t have legal representation. By the end of December 2013 over 1800 households with mortgage debt had received help from HRS.

Miss Toner continued: “Living with threat of losing your home is extremely stressful and can leave people with a sense of hopelessness. However, it is important to realise that there can still be options. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to go to Court if you have a date. It really can make all the difference in saving your home. All our services are absolutely free and it really is never too late to seek advice.”

People experiencing difficulty with mortgage or secured loan debt can contact Housing Rights Service on 0300 3230310 or visit their website www.housingadviceNI.org.