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Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Help in an emergency

Get advice as quickly as possible if you’re homeless or likely to be homeless.  You can speak to one of our advisers at Housing Rights Service if you need to find out what your options are.

Emergency accommodation

Go to the Housing Executive if you’ve got nowhere to sleep tonight.  The Housing Executive will have to provide you with temporary accommodation if you are homeless and you

  • have children
  • are pregnant
  • are a young person at risk of exploitation or
  • are vulnerable in some way.

If you don’t fit into this category you can call the Simon Community on 0800 171 2222.  The Simon Community may be able to offer you a space in one of its hostels. Contact Housing Rights Service if neither the Simon Community or the Housing Executive can help and you’ve got nowhere to go tonight

Weekend and evening help

The Simon Community number is open 24 hours a day.  The Regional Emergency Social Work Service provides an out of hours service for homeless people who need to contact the Housing Executive.  Call 028 95049999.

Sleeping rough is very dangerous.  If you’ve got no other option try to find somewhere warm and safe.  There are some organisations, such as The Welcome Organisation in Belfast, that have drop in centres and provide food and clothing for people who are staying on the streets.

Who helps homeless people in Northern Ireland?

The Housing Executive is legally responsible for helping people who are recognised as being fully homeless and in priority need of assistance in Northern Ireland.  There are 4 tests which you must pass before the Housing Executive becomes responsible for finding you a permanent home.

The Housing Executive has to investigate to see if you pass these tests if you ask them to do this.  While the investigation is happening the Housing Executive will have to offer you somewhere temporary to live if you are homeless and you

  • have children
  • are pregnant
  • are a young person at risk of exploitation or
  • are vulnerable in some way.

There are lots of charities that help homeless people and people who are in housing need in Northern Ireland.  At Housing Rights Service, an adviser can help you understand your housing options and work with you to solve your housing problems.  The Simon Community provides emergency housing for homeless people.