When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Keeping your home

Returning to your own home after imprisonment can really help you get back on your feet. However, this won’t always be possible.

If you're not entitled to benefits to help with your costs and you can't cover your housing costs while in prison, trying to hold on to your home can get you in serious debt and it might be best to let it go. Before you make any decisions, talk to a housing advice worker to see what your options are.

Whether it is reasonable to keep your home or not will depend on the type of housing that you have and the length of your imprisonment. There are special considerations for tenants and owner-occupiers, as well as persons on remand and sentenced prisoners.

If you are on remand awaiting trial, it is usually best that you try holding onto your home. The court may decide to release you or you may serve only a short sentence, so having a home to get back to is very important.

Depending on the length of your sentence and the type of housing that you have, you may want to try holding onto your home. There is a limit to the amount of time that you'll get benefits to help pay your rent or mortgage interest.

In certain circumstances, keeping your home may not be the best option for you. If you're serving a long sentence, you can't afford to keep paying your housing costs or you're unable to return home because of a conflict, you might have to think about giving up your home.