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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Prisoners

Buying your own home is a huge financial commitment. It's important that you do your research and fully understand your options before you commit to anything. If you can't afford to pay the full purchase cost of a property you might be able to part buy and part rent the property with the help of Co-ownership Housing Association.

Squatters are people who occupy and live in a property despite having no legal right to live there. It’s not a realistic housing option because squatters can easily be evicted.

Buying your own home is a huge financial commitment. It's important that you do your research and fully understand your options before you commit to anything. If you can't afford to pay the full purchase cost of a property you might be able to part buy and part rent the property with the help of Co-ownership Housing Association.

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

Whether you came to prison from a permanent address or temporary accommodation, you can find yourself at risk of being homeless upon release.

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.

If you pass all four homelessness tests, you will be given Full Duty Applicant status and will be entitled to offers of permanent accommodation from the Housing Executive and housing associations. If you fail the tests, you can ask to be assessed under the Selection Scheme. You can also challenge the Housing Executive's decision if you fail any of the tests.

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.

If you don’t pass all four homelessness tests, or hurdles, you will not be awarded Full Duty Applicant status. You may still, however, be able to get permanently housed if you ask to be assessed under the Housing Executive’s Selection Scheme.

Securing your home and your belongings while you are in prison can be difficult, especially if noone else is going to be living in your home or you lose it while in custody.

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