When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

What happens to your home if you go into prison?

Going into custody doesn’t have to mean losing your home. Whether you own your home, rent privately, or are a tenant with the Housing Executive or a housing association, there may be ways of keeping your home while you’re in prison.

This will, however, depend on your individual circumstances and your ability to pay your housing costs while in prison. Keeping your home may not always be the best option, especially if this means you will end up in debt after your release.

If you were homeless before you went into prison or you can’t go back to your former home, you will need to arrange alternative housing for when you leave prison. The worst case scenario could involve you having nowhere to go upon release.

Whatever your circumstances, it is very important that you get advice about your housing situation. Housing Rights has advice staff working in Hydebank, Magilligan and Maghaberry prisons. You can talk to these people if you're worried about your housing options or you can ask a friend or family member to call our advice line

If you had safe and secure accommodation before going into custody you should try to keep it, if possible, while you’re in prison.

You need to sort out some sort of accommodation if you don't have a home to go or family that you can stay with after you've been released from prison.

It is not uncommon for a person to be released from prison with nowhere to live. Get an appointment with the housing adviser or staff at the Offender Management Unit in your prison if you think you may be homeless on release.