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Explanatory Memorandum to Housing Support Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2002

Overview and Commentary on Articles

4.The Order makes provision for combining all funding sources for housing support services into a single fund, which will be administered by the NIHE. Housing support services will cease to qualify as an eligible charge for housing benefit.

5.The Order has 8 Articles.

Article 1: Title and commencement

Article 1 cites the title of the Order and provides that the Order is to come into  operation on a day appointed by the Department.

Article 2: Interpretation

Article 2 provides for the interpretation of the Order and defines certain terms.

Article 3: Provision of housing support services

Article 3 of the Order extends the functions of the NIHE to include securing of the provision of housing support services and gives it power to do such things as it considers appropriate for that purpose.

Article 4: Grants for housing support services

Article 4 of the Order gives the NIHE the power to pay grant to those eligible persons who are providing housing support services. The Department may prescribe the description of persons who are to be considered eligible for support and the terms and conditions on which grants may be paid.

Article 5:  Consultation

Article 5 of the Order requires the Department to consult appropriate bodies before it makes Regulations under Article 3 or 4.

Article 6: Disclosure of information

This Article allows the Department and persons holding information on its behalf and relating to income support or income-based jobseekers allowance to pass such information to the NIHE for purposes relating to its powers to pay grant for housing support services.

Article 7: Unauthorised disclosure of information

This Article makes it an offence to disclose, without lawful authority, any information about income support or income-based job seekers allowance, which has been provided in relation to the payment of grant for housing support services.

 Article 8: Housing Benefits

This Article amends Section 129 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 to exclude payments in respect of housing support services from the charges that are eligible for financial support through housing benefit.

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