Most homeless people have a right to claim benefits and to vote. If you’re homeless or about to become homeless you may also be able to return to your home. You may have a right to be rehoused by the Housing Executive.
Don’t stay in your home if you don’t feel safe. If you or your home has been attacked tell the police. The Housing Executive might have to find you somewhere else to live if it’s not reasonable for you to stay in your home.
The main piece of legislation which deals with homelessness in Northern Ireland is the Housing (NI) Order (1988) which has been amended by lots of later legislation. This amended order explains the Housing Executive’s responsibilities towards people who are homeless or who are likely to become homeless.
The Housing Executive takes about 33 days to make a decision on whether or not it is responsible for rehousing you because you are homeless. It will look at your circumstances to see if you pass all 4 tests for homelessness. You need to make sure you give the Housing Executive all the information it needs in order for it to make the right decision.
Whether you own your home or rent it, you need to have contents insurance. Homeowners will also need to have buildings insurance and may have to have life assurance as part of the conditions of their mortgage. Insurance protects you against risk. In return for this cover, you pay a premium to the insurance company. You can usually pay your premiums in a lump sum or in monthly deduction
The best way of ensuring a safe and friendly neighbourhood is if everyone carries out their own responsibilities. You need to ensure that you show your neighbours the same respect that you expect from them.