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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Intentionality test

The intentionality test looks at why you are homeless. 

The Housing Executive won't help if you are homeless because of 

  • something you deliberately did, or
  • something you deliberately failed to do.

Deciding you are intentionally homeless

The Housing Executive can decide you are intentionally homeless if

  • your deliberate actions led to you losing your home, and
  • it was reasonable for you to keep living at that home.

The Housing Executive has to prove that you made yourself homeless. It's not up to you to prove that you are "unintentionally homeless". 

Examples of intentional homelessness

You could be intentionally homeless if

  • you decided not to pay rent when you could afford to do so
  • you were evicted because of antisocial behaviour
  • you ignored advice that would have helped you stay in your home

Unintentional homelessness

Your homelessness is not your fault if

  • you could no longer afford your rent because of a change in circumstances
  • your landlord evicted you because you complained about the property
  • your behaviour was caused by a mental illness or disability
  • you are homeless because you had a fight with the people you were living with
  • you are homeless because your relationship has ended
  • you followed bad advice which led to you becoming homeless.

Homeless because of someone else’s actions

You may have had to leave your last home because of how someone else in your home behaved. 

You can still get help with homelessness if you can show that

  • you had no control over the other person
  • that person is no longer living with you, or
  • that person is now getting treatment so they don't behave that way.

After the intentionality test

The Housing Executive will either

  • check if you pass the other 3 tests for homelessness, or
  • write to tell you that you've failed the intentionality test. 

You can challenge the Housing Executive if they say you failed the test.