How long before I get permanently housed?
It's impossible to say when someone will get an offer of housing. Waiting lists are getting longer and you might have to wait a long time before you are permanently housed.
Your waiting time will depend on:
- the number of points you have been awarded,
- your overall position on the 'waiting list', and
- the availability of the type of accommodation you need in your area of choice.
You are entitled to three reasonable offers of accommodation. The Housing Executive or housing association will decide if the offer made was reasonable, but you can challenge this if you feel that the offer should not have been made. If the Housing Executive or housing association accepts that an offer was unreasonable, it will be disregarded. Make sure you challenge any offers that you feel are unreasonable.
Refusing an offer
If you don't want to move into the property, you can refuse. If you refuse all three offers and the Housing Executive considers these reasonable offers, you won't get any further offers for a year.
Refusing three reasonable offers will also mean that you'll lose certain points - such as Intimidation points, Full Duty Applicant points and any Other Homeless points.
If you believe the offer was unreasonable you can use the complaints procedure of the relevant authority. Get advice if you receive an offer that you think is unreasonable. Examples of an unreasonable offer could include:
- the property has not got enough bedrooms,
- you have a medical condition which makes the property unsuitable for you,
- the property is owned by a landlord you stated you did not wish to be housed by,
- the property is unsafe for occupation,
- the property is in serious disrepair,
- you would feel under threat living in the property.
As well as making a reasonable offer, the Housing Executive or housing association has to offer you a property that is suitable for your needs, and the needs of anyone who lives with you. The Housing Executive or housing association should ensure that:
- the accommodation is suitable for the size of your household,
- the accommodation is close to your area of choice,
- any special needs of your household are addressed,
- the accommodation is safe for occupation.
If you feel that the accommodation you have been offered is not suitable to your needs, seek help from a housing adviser – you may be able to challenge the offer.
You might receive a multiple offer. This is a property which has been offered to a number of different people on the waiting list. If you're interested in accepting this offer you need to let the Housing Executive or the housing association that made the offer know.
If more than one person expresses interest in a multiple offer the property will go to the person with the most points.
Refusing a multiple offer won't use up one of your 3 reasonable offers.