Am I in priority need?
The Housing Executive will consider you in priority need if you are particularly vulnerable and have difficulties finding and maintaining housing due to your situation.
You may be able to pass the priority need test if:
- you have been in prison for a continuous period of four years or longer,
- you have dependent children who will live with you,
- you are old,
- you are pregnant.
You might be found to be in Priority Need if you have other vulnerabilities, such as mental health problems, substance misuse, illness or a physical or learning disability. If these vulnerabilities make it more difficult for you to find and keep accommodation you should pass the Priority Need test.
If you are homeless after spending a continuous period of four years or longer in prison you will be seen as vulnerable by the Housing Executive due to institutionalisation.
The Housing Executive must usually give you a decision on your homelessness application within 33 days of receiving all the information they need. However, the Housing Executive can't make a decision on a prisoner's homelessness until 28 days before his or her release date so if your application was sent in before this trigger point, you may have to wait a little longer. If the Housing Executive decides that you are not entitled to homelessness assistance, the letter must include reasons for this decision.
If the Housing Executive says you are not in priority need, you can challenge the decision. You will not be able to get a Full Duty Applicant status if you do not pass the priority need test. If you have concerns about failing this test, visit the following link for more information on priority need and homelessness assessment.