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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Prisoners

Going into custody doesn’t necessarily mean losing your home. Depending on your circumstances, there may be ways of keeping your home while you’re in prison.

A number of projects and organisations provide help and support to prisoners, ex-offenders and their families. If you're in prison there are people there who can help you with your housing problems. You can always talk to the Housing Advice Development Worker in prison or a member of staff in the Offender Management Unit.

Preparing to go into prison, whether you’re on remand or already sentenced, can be difficult and leave you feeling very unsettled.

Moving can be stressful, complicated and expensive. Whether you’re moving in, moving on or moving out careful planning can make the process easier.

You may not want to inform your landlord or mortgage lender that you're in prison, but you have to keep them informed.

Squatters are people who occupy and live in a property despite having no legal right to live there. It’s not a realistic housing option because squatters can easily be evicted.

If you are remanded in custody and you were renting your home before you went to prison, you may be able to still get help to pay rent. This depends on how long you will be in custody.

Buying your own home is a huge financial commitment. It's important that you do your research and fully understand your options before you commit to anything. If you can't afford to pay the full purchase cost of a property you might be able to part buy and part rent the property with the help of Co-ownership Housing Association.

If you are paying off a mortgage and you are on remand, you may be able to get help with your repayments. You'll only get help towards the interest on your mortgage and you'll only get help for a certain amount of time.

You normally have to be living in a property in order to claim and receive housing benefit. However, in certain circumstances you may be able to claim for a property that you're not actually living in. The length of time that you can claim for depends on why you can't live in the property.

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