Homelessness is essentially not having a home or somewhere to live. You can still be homeless if you are:
- Staying with friends or family
- Staying in a hostel, shelter or other temporary accommodation
- Living apart from your family because you don’t have a place to live together.
If you feel you are under serious threat or harassment from your current landlord and they are attempting to illegally evict you, make sure you know your rights to protect yourself. Get in touch with the Environmental Health Dept in your Local Council.
From time to time, students can experience temporary homelessness. If you find yourself in this situation, you can contact us for advice on email@example.com,
If it’s outside office hours and you can't safely spend the night with a family member or friend, or arrange for temporary accommodation in a local hostel or B&B* until something more permanent can be organised. This link provides details of hostel, B&B and hotel accommodation so you can search for something within your budget.
Remember to check its location is within easy travel distance of the University - just enter the postcode of the University (BT7 1NF) into Google maps with the postcode of the accommodation and it will give you an indication of how long it takes to get to campus on foot and by car. Never take the risk of sleeping on the street or in your car.
Queen’s accommodation can sometimes help students with emergency accommodation, however this is entirely dependent on their vacancies. Phone their office as soon as possible on 028 9097 4525 and explain your situation to a member of staff. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Regional Emergency Social Work Service provides an emergency out of hours service for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, 028 9004 9999. When you phone, your call will be answered by a Switchboard Operator who will take a few details like your contact info and the nature of your call. They will then pass your details on to one of the Social Workers who will ring you back.
You can also contact the Simon Community’s 24 hour helpline on 0800 171 2222, or download their new 'Support My Own Neighbourhood' app on iPhone or Android. The app is for people who unexpectedly become homeless and it can help you find a hostel or food bank.
Please note - the legislation around statutory homelessness can be complex and not everyone has the statutory right to emergency accommodation. Please read Homelessness Explained.
* This is provided for your assistance and Queen’s Students’ Union does not in any way endorse or recommend any of the accommodation listed.
Arrange accommodation before you arrive
You should ensure that you have accommodation before you arrive as there is no guarantee that there will be accommodation available for you without notice. The University Halls is usually fully occupied at the start of term, so there is a strong likelihood that they may not be able to offer accommodation immediately. If you do arrive without accommodation, you should look to stay in a hotel or hostel short-term until you find something more permanent.
You can look for accommodation on Gumtree, Spareroom.com and PropertyPal.
Fear of Violence or Harm
If you feel that you are unable to stay in your accommodation through fear or imminent violence or harm, there are different support agencies that you can contact depending on your circumstances. You can find information on these by clicking here.
In an emergency, for example if you or any of your family are in immediate danger, always call the police on 999.
Report and Support
The Report and Support service is available through the University. They support students who have been affected by sexual violence, physical violence, hate crimes and other forms of abuse. You can contact them online by clicking the link above and completing the links available at the bottom of the webpage.
If you can’t afford your rent
If you are experiencing financial struggles which means you are unable to afford your rent and therefore you are worried about potential homelessness, contact SU Advice. We are able to discuss what financial aid you may be eligible to apply for and offer guidance on any other options.
Landlord has threatened to evict you
If you are living in private rented accommodation, your landlord legally cannot evict you from the property without doing the following:
- Providing you with a written notice to quit which must be at-least 28 days.
- Applying for a court order to evict
It is illegal for a landlord, or anyone working for the landlord, to
- threaten you or force you to leave the property without a court order
- change the locks on your rented home
- cut off any services or supplies to the property
- ask you to move out without at least 4 weeks' notice
- remove you or your items from the property