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Emergency help

Get help finding a place to stay tonight.

This information is for people living in Northern Ireland.

Get a bed for the night

If you need a place to stay tonight, call the Housing Executive, 0344 8920 900 (Out of hours service: 0344 8920 908).

If you have homeless points, they must find you a place. If you do not, they may still be able to help or can give you a list of hostels you can contact.

If you need an emergency bed for the night, sometimes called a ‘crash bed’, you can get help depending on your situation.

The Housing Executive must give you temporary housing if you:

  • have homeless points, or
  • do not have homeless points but you have a priority need (such as having children), or
  • are waiting for a review of your homeless decision (also called an ‘interim duty’)

Talk to our advisers if you think:

  • you're entitled to temporary accommodation
  • but you have not been offered a place 

Temporary accommodation

There are different types of temporary accommodation. You must pay rent while living in temporary accommodation. But you may qualify for Housing Benefit which can help with paying your rent.

Hostels and single-lets

Usually, the Housing Executive will offer you a place in a hostel. There are different types of hostels for men, women and families. 

The Housing Executive can sometimes offer a 'single-let'. This is a house or flat that belongs to a private landlord. Single-lets are usually for families or people with specific needs. 

In an emergency, you may be offered a room in a B&B. 

    Get advice if you think the temporary accommodation you're offered does not meet your needs.

    Temporary accommodation from social services

    If the Housing Executive cannot get you a place, social services may be able to get you temporary housing if you:  

    Speak to your social worker or local trust for more information. 

    Find a hostel, night shelter or foyer

    Homeless hostels and some night shelters in Belfast have emergency beds on a first-come, first-served basis. You may need to queue up. Some options include:

    The Welcome Organisation offers beds for women only.

    Temporary accommodation for young people

    If you’re under 25, you can ask for a place in a foyer. Foyers offer temporary accommodation as well as extra support and training. Depending on the foyer, you'll have either your own flat or your own room. 

    The Housing Executive can find a foyer for you, or you can contact:

    Find out more about housing options for young people

    Video: How to get temporary housing

    Video transcript

    It can be scary when you don’t have a place to stay and you don’t know where you’re going to sleep from one night to the next. 

    If you don’t have anywhere to stay, you can contact the Housing Executive. Anyone can ask them for help but they aren’t able to give everyone emergency or temporary housing. 

    The Housing Executive will ask about your situation and find you a place to stay if you: 

    • have nowhere to stay, and 
    • you or someone in your family is vulnerable, for example, if you have dependent children 

    If you’ve already been assessed by the Housing Executive and got 70 housing or ‘homeless’ points, they will find you temporary accommodation. 

    You might think where the Housing Executive places you isn’t suitable. This could be because of specific needs you or your family have. 

    We know this can be hard. But your right to challenge what you’re offered depends on whether you have homeless points or not. 

    Get in touch with us if you think the temporary accommodation from the Housing Executive isn’t suitable. We can talk you through your options. 

    It’s usually best to take the temporary accommodation - even if it doesn’t seem quite right for you. It’s better to have a place to stay, while you work out your other options. 

    You’ll usually get a place in a hostel. If the Housing Executive can’t find you a place, you can contact hostels yourself. There are details on our website. 

    Contact Housing Rights if you need to talk about problems finding somewhere to stay. You can call, email or chat to an adviser online. 

    Get extra help if you're homeless

    There are other organisations that can help people experiencing homelessness. They can help with things like food, warm clothes and making phone calls. 

    In Belfast, contact: 

    In Derry/Londonderry, contact:

    For all other areas, call the Housing Executive, 0344 8920 900 (Out of hours service: 0344 8920 908).

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