Children's Law Centre ‘Rights House’ 127-131 Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 1SH

Freephone Advice For Children and Young People
Call Chalky 0808 808 5678


Where can I get help if I am homeless?
NI Housing Executive

If you are homeless or are likely to become homeless you can apply to the Housing Executive in Northern Ireland for help. They have a legal duty to give advice on homelessness to anyone who asks for it.

You could be entitled to help if: you are homeless; you can only stay where you are temporarily; or it is unreasonable for you to stay in your current home. Usually people under the age of 18 cannot apply for Housing Executive accommodation but if you meet the criteria to be a ‘Full Duty Applicant’ the age requirements won’t apply to you. The criteria are as follows:
  • You are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • You are eligible for assistance
  • You are in priority need
  • You are not intentionally homeless
If you meet these four criteria you will be given ‘Full Duty Applicant’ status and will therefore be entitled to permanent accommodation. Alternatively the Housing Executive must look into your situation and give you advice to help you find a home.Social ServicesIf you are under the age of eighteen and find yourself homeless, social services must look into your situation and check what help you are entitled to. You will be entitled to help if you fall into any of three categories:
  • You have spent at least 3 months in care – social services may provide you with accommodation or financial help until you turn 21. This help could possibly continue until you turn 24 if you are attending university or college.
  • You are disabled – social services should offer to help you and work with the Housing Executive to provide you with adequate support.
  • Social services decide you are a ‘child in need’ under Article 21 of the Children Northern Ireland Order 1995 – social services will help you if they think you are a ‘child in need’. A ‘child in need’ is a child who requires help to manage their health and development. You may be a ‘child in need’ if, for example, you are living with an abusive person or you are having problems at home which are affecting your health and education. The very fact that you are homeless, perhaps because the relationship with your parents has broken down, could lead to an assessment by social services finding that you are a ‘child in need’. If you are a ‘child in need’ and homeless then your local HSC Trust has a duty to provide you with accommodation. Contact the Children’s Law Centre for advice if you find yourself in this position.  
For further information please visit:
At what age can I get Housing Benefit?
If you are aged 16 or over and are a tenant in rented accommodation such as a Housing Executive property or a privately rented property, then you might be entitled to Housing Benefit. This will help with the cost of the rent and rates. Claims for this benefit should be made to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Contact Info

Children's Law Centre
‘Rights House’
127-131 Ormeau Road,

Tel: 028 90245704
Fax: 028 90245679

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