Am I intentionally homeless?
The Housing Executive will look at your reasons for being homeless. If you lost your last settled home because of something that you deliberately did or failed to do, the Housing Executive may decide you are intentionally homeless.
You may have problems passing this test if:
- your home was repossessed due to mortgage arrears;
- you had significant rent arrears;
- you were evicted because of antisocial behaviour.
If any of the above applies, the Housing Executive may consider you intentionally homeless and will not have any duty to offer you accommodation. If you lost your home because you couldn't afford to pay your rent, rates or mortgage you will need to be able to show to the Housing Executive that this was because of financial hardship.
You will not be seen as 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;
- you got into arrears because of job loss or wage cut;
- you lost your home which was provided by your previous employers;
- you lost your home because you were not aware of your rights.
Prisoners may be found to be intentionally homeless if their property was repossessed because they build up rent arrears when they went into prison and their housing benefit stopped. In this type of situation it might be better to give up the tenancy rather than wait for the property to be repossessed. You can also be deemed intentionally homeless if you were evicted from your previous home for antisocial behaviour.
The Housing Executive must write to you with a decision on your homelessness application within 33 days of receiving all the relevant information. If the Housing Executive decides you're intentionally homeless the letter should include reasons.
You can challenge an intentionality decision, but you should get help from an adviser if you're planning to do this as there are strict time limits and it can be a tricky process. Staff in the Offender Management Unit, your Sentence Manager or the Housing Advice Development Worker at the prison will be able to offer you more detailed advice best suited to your individual circumstances. However, if you wish to find out further details about this hurdle, these are available on the intentionality test page of our main homelessness section.