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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing options in NI

Housing options
Housing Options

Because of the shortage of public housing in Northern Ireland you can wait a long time to be offered a Housing Executive or housing association property even if you are legally homeless. One of your housing options is to try to deal with any housing problems you’re having and see if it’s possible to stay in your current home.   If this doesn't work out, you can apply for social housing, try to find a privately rented home or buy your own property. 

You can apply for a home with the Housing Executive or a housing association by filling in an application form. There are lots of people on the waiting list and they are ranked according to how badly they need to be rehoused. Your ranking depends on how many points you are awarded using the criteria set out in the Common Housing Selection Scheme.

Buying your own home is a huge financial commitment. It's important that you do your research and fully understand your options before you commit to anything. If you can't afford to pay the full purchase cost of a property you might be able to part buy and part rent the property with the help of Co-ownership Housing Association.

People who can't manage independently in their own homes might want to apply for sheltered or supported housing. These are two different options. Sheltered housing allows residents independence but provides on site support and assistance. Supported housing can be a good option for people who need extra help with day to day tasks. The level of support you'll get is usually dependent on your particular care needs.

If your current housing situation doesn't suit your needs it's natural to think you might have to move. But, with the right help and support, you may be able to continue living in your current home. While housing waiting lists are so long and renting privately can be expensive it's worth checking if you can do something practical to allow you to continue living where you are.

Squatters are people who occupy and live in a property despite having no legal right to live there. It’s not a realistic housing option because squatters can easily be evicted.

Renting privately can be a great option for many people. There is a wide range of rented property available. Make sure you know what type of property you need and what area you would like to live in.

Most students who aren’t living at home will either move into housing provided by their college or university or find somewhere to rent privately. Check the college’s website or prospectus for information on the housing options it provides.

Smartmove may be able to find you an affordable private tenancy, which won't require a full deposit before you move in. Staff at Smartmove can also help you get in touch with any extra support that you might need to make sure your tenancy lasts.  If you take up a Smartmove tenancy, you'll be taken off the waiting list. 

Moving can be stressful, complicated and expensive. Whether you’re moving in, moving on or moving out careful planning can make the process easier.

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