When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

The four homelessness 'tests'

The Housing Executive has a legal responsibility to help homeless people. The amount of help you're entitled to depends on whether you pass 4 homelessness. The tests are

  • are you homeless?
  • are you entitled to help?
  • are you more in need of help than other people?
  • why are you homeless?

The homelessness test is one of 4 tests you have to pass to be legally homeless. 

The other tests are eligibility, priority need and intentionality.

You have to be "eligible" to apply for housing. You may not be able to get help with homelessness if

  • your immigration status means you cannot apply, or
  • you have been involved in certain types of antisocial behaviour. 

Priority need is one of 4 tests you have to pass to be legally homeless. The Housing Executive has to help you with housing if you pass all 4 tests. 

The intentionality test looks at why you are homeless. 

The Housing Executive won't help if you are homeless because of 

  • something you deliberately did, or
  • something you deliberately failed to do.

The Housing Executive takes around 5 weeks to make a decision on your case. 

They'll send you a letter to let you know their decision. 

The Housing Executive doesn’t have to find you housing if you don’t pass all 4 homelessness tests

You can challenge a decision that you've failed a test.

You'll need to look at other housing options if you can't pass all 4 homelessness tests.