When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Homeless 18-21 year olds

Ask the Housing Executive for help with homelessness.

Speak to our advisers if you don't know your rights or need help dealing with the Housing Executive.

Help for care leavers

You are a care leaver if:

  • you've spent at least 13 weeks in care since you turned 14, and
  • you were in care at some point since you turned 16.

You should have a social worker or a personal adviser if you are a care leaver. This person should help you to sort out your housing problems. They can also help you to deal with the Housing Executive.

Emergency help from the Housing Executive if you are homeless

The Housing Executive should find you temporary housing if

  • you don't have anywhere safe to stay, and
  • you might be at risk or vulnerable in some way.

The Housing Executive will offer you short-term housing. Often this is in a hostel for homeless people.

After you've asked for help

The Housing Executive will check to see what kind of help it should give you. They don't have to find housing for everyone who is homeless.

The Housing Executive has to find you long-term housing if you pass four tests. These tests check:

  • if you have a right to live anywhere else and it is reasonable for you to live there
  • if your immigration status allows you to get help with housing
  • if you have a history of certain antisocial behaviour which means you can't get help with housing
  • if you are at risk in some way and this makes you a priority for help
  • if you are homeless through your own fault.

Talk to our advisers if you have questions about these tests.

Information to share with the Housing Executive

It's important to be honest with the Housing Executive.

Explain why you had to leave your last home. Mention any problems that damaged your mental or physical health.

You should also tell your housing officer about

  • any health problems you have
  • any children you care for
  • any treatment or medication you take
  • any time you've spent in care or in custody
  • any other issues that might make you vulnerable or more at risk than another person if you end up homeless.

Passing the tests for homelessness

The Housing Executive will give you 70 points if you pass all four tests. They will put you on the waiting list for a tenancy.

You can keep living in temporary housing while you wait for a long-term home. The length of time you'll wait depends on how many points you have.

Talk to our advisers if you want to know more about points and offers

Failing the tests for homelessness 

The Housing Executive will write to tell you if you fail a test.

Talk to our advisers if this happens. We might be able to help you to change the Housing Executive's decision