Are you homeless? If so, what happens next?

Updated: 22 Feb 2019
We will find out if you are eligible for help and tell you what support is available to you
Customer advice services
The first thing we will do is work out whether you are eligible for homeless assistance in Northern Ireland. We will also investigate whether you and/or any members of your household have been involved in any anti social behaviour. We will also establish your eligibility for housing assistance under immigration/asylum rules.

Reasons for homelessness

You are homeless if you have nowhere to live because:
  • you are afraid to go home because someone living there has been violent to you, or has made a threat of violence which they are likely to carry out
  • you do not have permission to live where you are staying - for example, if you are living with friends or relatives and they have told you to leave
  • you have nowhere where you can live together with all the people who normally live with you or wish to live with you
  • you have a home but you cannot gain access to it - for example, because you have been illegally evicted
  • your landlord has taken you to court and the date by which the court has said you have to leave has passed
  • your home is a caravan or a boat and you have nowhere that you can legally park it or moor it

Are you about to become homeless?

You can get help if you are likely to become homeless within the next 28 days because, for example:
  • you have been taken to court by your landlord and the court has said you must leave
  • you have been living with friends or relatives who have told you to leave

Are you in priority need?

You are in priority need if:
  • you have one or more dependent children - that is, children who are aged under 16 or under 19 and in full-time education or government training scheme
  • you or your partner or any member of your household is pregnant
  • you or someone in your family is 'vulnerable' because of old age, mental illness, physical disability or other special reason
  • you have been made homeless as a result of a disaster such as fire or flood
  • you are at risk of violence at home
  • you are a young person at risk of sexual or financial exploitation

Are you intentionally homeless?

We may consider you to be 'intentionally homeless' if you have become homeless as a result of something that you have done or failed to do, or if you have entered into an arrangement that was intended to render you homeless or threatened with homelessness.
You are not intentionally homeless if:
  • it was not reasonable for you to remain in your last home
  • you left home because of domestic violence or fear of violence
  • personal or money problems that you could not avoid meant you lost your home because of rent or mortgage arrears; this may be because you lost your job, had a wage cut and did not claim all the benefits you were entitled to
  • your home went with your job, which you lost through no fault of your own, or which you gave up for a very good reason
  • you lost your home because you did not know your rights, for example, you did not know that your landlord needed a court order before you had to leave

What happens next?

Once we have all this information, we can make a decision on the support we can offer you.