When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing Benefit is changing

Housing Benefit is being replaced by a new benefit - universal credit. The way your housing costs are worked out will be quite different under the universal credit system, particularly if you are a homeowner.

The government has also announced further plans to change the way that help with housing costs is given to people on low incomes. 

Universal credit is rolling out across Northern Ireland. From 5 December 2018 most new claims for social security assistance will be for Universal Credit. You will only be able to make new claims for older benefits, such as Housing Benefit in limited circumstances.

The government will start moving existing claimants of certain other benefits on to Universal Credit from 2019 and plans to finish this process by 2022. 

When universal credit is introduced, you may not be entitled to any help with your housing costs if you are aged under 21. There are some exceptions to this rule, which will allow young people to receive help to pay their rent.

You will still be able to apply for financial assistance to help with the cost of paying rates on your home.