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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

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.

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.

If you pass all four homelessness tests, or hurdles, you will be awarded Full Duty Applicant status. Full Duty Applicants are entitled to offers of permanent accommodation from the Housing Executive and housing associations.

The Housing Executive will have a duty to offer you accommodation if it is satisfied that you are a Full Duty Applicant. You will be a Full Duty Applicant if you pass all 4 homeless tests also known as “hurdles”.

You can make an application anytime in the three months up to your release date. The Housing Advice Development Worker can help you decide when to do this.

You can present as homeless to the Housing Executive either on the outside, after your release from prison, or from inside the prison while you are still in custody. The Housing Executive must help you if it thinks you are homeless, or about to become homeless in the next 28 days.

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