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.
Passing priority need
You will pass the priority need test if
- you are pregnant
- you have children in your household
- you are homeless because of a natural disaster, like a flood
- you are under 20 and at risk of sexual or financial exploitation
- you are at risk of violence or are homeless because of violence
- you are vulnerable because you are old, you have a serious illness or disability or for some other special reason
Children who are included in your household
The Housing Executive considers a young person to be a child if
- they are under 16, or
- they are under 18 and still in full-time education or on a government training scheme.
A child or young person will be part of your household if
- you are their main carer, or
- you share care of them but their child benefit is paid to you.
Only one person can be a child's main carer.
Passing the priority need test if you are vulnerable
You will usually need evidence to show that you are vulnerable. This could be
- details of your diagnoses and medication or treatment
- a statement from a medical or social care professional that explains your issues.
Keep a copy of any paperwork you give to the Housing Executive.
The Housing Executive will agree that you pass priority need if the evidence shows that
- you are vulnerable, and
- your vulnerability means you would struggle with homelessness more than the average person.
After the priority need test
The Housing Executive will give you 70 points if you pass all 4 tests. You will have a right to temporary housing while you wait for a permanent home.
The Housing Executive will send you a letter if you fail the test. You can challenge this decision.
Contact our helpline if you fail the priority need test.