[/ˈvɪdʒɪl(ə)nt/] adjective 1. keeping careful watch. 2. alertly watchful, especially to avoid danger. "the public remained vigilant so as to protect their common interest during and after the crisis"

Health-care systems and social programmes have been weakened by decades of underinvestment in public health services and other social programmes, accelerated by the global financial crisis of 2007–2008. Consequently, they are ill equipped to respond effectively and expeditiously to cope with the intensity of the current pandemic.

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: a statement on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and economic, social and cultural rights

This emergency has shone a spotlight on the glaring inequalities in our society – who has a roof to shelter under and who does not, who has savings to carry on buying food when income stops and who does not, who can stay informed and connected online and who cannot, who can practice safe social distancing and who cannot. It is the policies of the past which left us so vulnerable as a society to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The measures introduced during the Covid-19 emergency show that the state can take immediate steps to protect everyone in our society. We can act decisively and with public support to end homelessness, value essential workers, secure incomes and open public services to all, including asylum seekers.

Artwork, vigilance
Policy Vigilance

We've been charting policy changes since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. These should not be 'emergency' policies. They are fundamental rights. We must now build on these emergency protections so that these rights can be permanently guaranteed for all.

Below is a list of policies and legislation introduced by the government to enhance social and economic rights protections during the emergency. We'll keep updating the list over the coming weeks and months. If you would like to receive daily email updates on news items issued by Stormont departments during the Covid-19 emergency, and other updates from #NoOneLeftBehind, click the button below to sign up.

Filter by theme:
9 results for Housing (ordered by date of announcement)


Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Bill 2020: extension of eviction notice period

Announced on: Tue 28 Apr 2020

Planning Process

Change to planning procedures in relation to community consultation and planning committee oversight

Announced on: Thu 16 Apr 2020


Additional emergency accommodation for those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness

Announced on: Mon 06 Apr 2020

Rent Increase Postponement

Housing Executive rent increases postponed until October 2020 due to health and economic crisis

Announced on: Mon 06 Apr 2020


The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020: exemptions and support for people who are homeless

Announced on: Sat 28 Mar 2020

Evictions from Social Housing

Department for Communities agreement with all social housing landlords that tenants facing difficulties paying rent will not be evicted

Announced on: Fri 27 Mar 2020


Department for Communities receives "assurances" from co-ownership stakeholders about mortgage payments

Announced on: Fri 27 Mar 2020

Housing Benefit

From April 2020, a raise in the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates

Announced on: Fri 27 Mar 2020

Universal Credit Housing Payments

Change to Discretionary Housing Payment provisions for those who have lost their job due to the health crisis

Announced on: Fri 27 Mar 2020