When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Help in an emergency

Get advice as quickly as possible if you’re homeless or likely to be homeless.  You can speak to one of our advisers at Housing Rights if you need to find out what your options are.


Contact NIHE on 03448 920 908 if you are sleeping rough and have nowhere to stay. NIHE may have a legal duty to provide you with somewhere to stay and have worked to make sure that people who are sleeping rough are offered a place to stay during the Coronavirus lockdown. Get advice if you've asked NIHE for temporary housing but they have not offered you somewhere to stay.

Emergency accommodation

Go to the Housing Executive if you’ve got nowhere to sleep tonight.  The Housing Executive will have to provide you with temporary accommodation if you are homeless and you

  • have children
  • are pregnant
  • are a young person at risk of exploitation or
  • are vulnerable in some way.

If you don’t fit into this category you can call the Simon Community on 0800 171 2222.  The Simon Community may be able to offer you a space in one of its hostels. Contact Housing Rights if neither the Simon Community or the Housing Executive can give you somewhere to stay and you’ve got nowhere to go tonight

Weekend and evening help

You can contact the Housing Executive for emergency help with homelessness outside of office hours by calling 03448 920 908. The Simon Community number is open 24 hours a day.  

Sleeping rough is very dangerous.  If you’ve got no other option try to find somewhere warm and safe.  There are some organisations, such as The Welcome Organisation in Belfast, that have drop in centres and provide food and clothing for people who are staying on the streets.

Homeless hostels in Northern Ireland

You can get a list of hostels in Northern Ireland online.  You'll need to contact each of these organisations to find out if there are any bedspaces. 

Nightshelters and crash beds in Northern Ireland

If you're not able to get a space in a hostel, you may be able to get an emergency bed in a nightshelter.  There are only a few emergency nightshelters in Northern Ireland.  The Welcome Centre has 5 emergency spaces for women who are homeless.  The Morning Star House on Divis Street in Belfast provides nightshelter beds.  Centenary House, on Victoria Street in Belfast, is run by the Salvation Army.  This hostel has 12 nightshelter beds which are given on a first come, first served basis.   

Who helps homeless people in Northern Ireland?

The Housing Executive is legally responsible for helping people who are recognised as being fully homeless and in priority need of assistance in Northern Ireland.  There are 4 tests which you must pass before the Housing Executive becomes responsible for finding you a permanent home.

The Housing Executive has to investigate to see if you pass these tests if you ask them to do this.  While the investigation is happening the Housing Executive will have to offer you somewhere temporary to live if you are homeless and you

  • have children
  • are pregnant
  • are a young person at risk of exploitation or
  • are vulnerable in some way.

There are lots of charities that help homeless people and people who are in housing need in Northern Ireland.  At Housing Rights, an adviser can help you understand your housing options and work with you to solve your housing problems.  The Simon Community provides emergency housing for homeless people. 

How to help someone who is homeless

Try to encourage the person to get advice to find somewhere to live. 

If you are worried about someone who has nowhere to stay and who is sleeping rough, you can contact an outreach service. 

  • Contact The Welcome Organisation on 0789 4931047 or Extern on 02890 330433 if the person is sleeping rough in Belfast
  • Contact First Housingon 0754 0100 207 or 0754 0100 208 if the person is sleeping rough in Derry/Londonderry
  • Contact the Housing Executive on 03448 920 908 if the person is in another area.