Efficient double-strand break repair in eukaryotes requires manipulation of chromatin structure. ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling enzymes facilitate different DNA repair pathways, during different stages of the cell cycle and in varied chromatin environments. The contribution of remodelling factors to double-strand break repair within heterochromatin during G2 is unclear. The human HELLS protein is a Snf2-like chromatin remodeller family member and is mutated or misregulated in several cancers and some cases of ICF syndrome. HELLS has been implicated in the DNA damage response, but its mechanistic function in repair is not well understood. We discover that HELLS facilitates homologous recombination at two-ended breaks and contributes to repair within heterochromatic regions during G2. HELLS promotes initiation of HR by facilitating end-resection and accumulation of CtIP at IR-induced foci. We identify an interaction between HELLS and CtIP and establish that the ATPase domain of HELLS is required to promote DSB repair. This function of HELLS in maintenance of genome stability is likely to contribute to its role in cancer biology and demonstrates that different chromatin remodelling activities are required for efficient repair in specific genomic contexts.