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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

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The main piece of legislation which deals with homelessness in Northern Ireland is the Housing (NI) Order (1988) which has been amended by lots of later legislation. This amended order explains the Housing Executive’s responsibilities towards people who are homeless or who are likely to become homeless.

You may be able to get some help carrying out basic chores in your home if you’re elderly or vulnerable. This help is provided through Social Services so you’ll need to speak to your doctor or social worker before you can get help.

Residential or nursing homes are also known as care homes. These are usually for older people. AgeNI can provide advice to people who want to know more about finding a care home and can explain what you can do if you have any problems regarding a care home.

People who can't manage independently in their own homes might want to apply for sheltered or supported housing. These are two different options. Sheltered housing allows residents independence but provides on site support and assistance. Supported housing can be a good option for people who need extra help with day to day tasks. The level of support you'll get is usually dependent on your particular care needs.

Tenancy and floating support services can help you manage in your home. Many of these services are funded through the Housing Executive’s Supporting People programme.

Disabled facilities grants can be paid to help homeowners or private tenants who have a disability undertake certain adaptations recommended by an Occupational Therapist.

If you have a physical illness or disability you may need some alterations carried out to your home to help you get around. If you’re a private tenant, you’ll need to get your landlord’s permission to alter the property in any way. Alterations could range from the relatively small, like a ramp or a handrail, through to larger adaptations such as putting in a downstairs toilet.

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.

It's important that you keep up to date with changes in housing legislation, policy and practice to make sure that you are operating within the law. You may wish to consider taking part in an accredited training programme or joining a professional body. This type of training and support could help you deal with any problems that arise with your tenants and help you manage your properties effectively.

Some people enjoy getting involved in their neighbourhood. You might want to join a residents association or community group or even set one up if you think it would improve the area.

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