When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Keeping your home if sentenced

You will only be entitled to housing benefit to help with your rent and rates if the total amount of time, including any time spent on remand, that you spend in prison is 13 weeks or less.  

Sentence of 13 weeks or less

You can claim housing benefit to help cover your rent and rates payments while you're in prison.   If you're on remand and you receive a sentence that will mean your total time in prison is going to be more than 13 weeks, your housing benefit will stop on the day you're sentenced. 

Sentenced to longer than 13 weeks

You won't be entitled to housing benefit if you receive a sentence of 13 weeks or longer or the total time you're going to spend in prison once you've been sentenced is more than 13 weeks.  You may be able to get permission from your landlord to have someone else move into your home and take over paying rent.  In certain circumstances, this person might be able to claim housing benefit. 


Sentenced prisoners aren't entitled to help with their mortgage payments.  However, if you live with a partner, your partner might be able to claim Support for Mortgage Interest to help with these payments, even if his or her name isn't on the mortgage.  Speak to one of the prison housing advisers to find out more about getting help to pay your mortgage.