Getting a place in a hostel

For many homeless people a hostel may be their only housing option, at least in the short term. There is a wide variety of hostels, shared houses, shared flats, and other accommodation for homeless people.

Many hostels only accept referrals from agencies such as the Housing Executive, social services and others that work with homeless people.

Other hostels will accept self-referrals from homeless people. But they will only be able to help if they have a vacancy and the person applying matches the service they provide. Direct access hostels and nightshelters can provide accommodation for people without a bed for the night. These hostels are often full, but vacancies frequently become available.

Hostels vary in size and in how long they allow you to stay. Some traditional hostels are large buildings with many residents, who mainly stay in dormitories and shared rooms. In recent years, more places have become available in single rooms in smaller buildings, shared houses and flats.

Many hostels have staff who can offer support to residents. This support can vary from providing advice on benefits and finding accommodation, to emotional support and help with independent living skills. Some hostels provide specialist support for alcohol, drug, health, or mental health problems.

Paying for Housing Executive hostel charges

You can make your Housing Executive hostel payment online through Allpay. This service allows you to pay bills by debit card 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You will need an Allpay card to use this service.

Current hostel dwellers will receive a card when they arrive at the hostel. Past hostel dwellers can request a card by post.

If you are using the service for the first time, you will need to register your details. For this you will need the payment reference numbers on your Allpay card..

To pay online, or for more information, please visit our online payment page.

Avoiding homelessness