When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Help if you pass all 4 tests

If you pass all 4 homelessness tests you will become a Full Duty Applicant. This means that the Housing Executive is responsible for: 

  • providing you with temporary housing, if you ask for this
  • making you two reasonable offers of permanent housing

Temporary housing

Temporary accommodation from the Housing Executive will usually be:

  • a hostel managed by the Housing Executive or a voluntary agency, or

  • a property rented from a private landlord by the Housing Executive (a single let). 

The Housing Executive will usually try to use its own accommodation. You may have to share facilities like bathrooms and kitchens with other residents. If you are staying in hostel accommodation you may have to share a bedroom.

Prisoners often find themselves in temporary accommodation, such as hostels, when they leave prison. If you're on benefits or you're not earning very much you can apply for housing benefit to help with the cost of rent for the hostel.  Some hostels will charge you for meals and service charges.  You'll have to pay for this yourself, as housing benefit won't cover these costs. Most hostels have rules.  If you break these rules, you can be asked to leave the hostel with very little notice. 

Waiting for an offer

You could end up waiting a long time for an offer of housing.  When a property becomes available the Housing Executive or housing association will look at the waiting list and offer the property to the person on the list:

  • who has the most points and
  • who needs this size of property and
  • who has selected this area as one of their areas of choice. 

The Housing Executive also advertises some of its properties online. If you're interested in these properties, you need to let the Housing Executive know by the date in the advert. Once the deadline passes the Housing Executive will look at all the people who have said they're interested in the property and then offer it to whoever of these people has the most points.  

It can be frustrating waiting for an offer, so you might have to try to improve your chances of getting one by increasing your points or changing your areas of choice.