On the 19th November 2014, a Roundtable discussion was held at CLM’s offices. Wayne Stanley, Director of Advocacy, Communication and Research at Focus Ireland discussed the impact of repossessions on the social housing sector. He provided an overview of the main social housing supports including the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS), Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rent Supplement (RS) and outlined the respective advantages and disadvantages of each type of support. In this way he illustrated how the State has turned to the private rental market as a way of providing housing. Jim O’ Callaghan, Head of Operations at the Housing Rights Service Northern Ireland made a presentation on the various projects run by the service such as the Preventing Possession Initiative and the Mortgage Debt Advice Service and described in particular detail the operation of Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme. This is a scheme whereby a team of non-practising solicitors provide once-off legal advice to those facing repossession who have turned up to Court without representation.
CLM held a Roundtable discussion on the 17th November 2014 in the area of Social Welfare Law focusing on the Social Welfare Code in the context of children's rights. The ensuing discussion highlighted certain legislative provisions and child related payments that are not providing adequate protection for children's rights particularly when examined in the context of a human rights framework.