When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Working out your housing points

Points are important when you are waiting for a home. Lots of points means you will be higher up on the waiting list. 

Housing points in Northern Ireland

Your housing officer decides how many points you have. They can only give you points in certain circumstances.

There are different categories of points. These are

  • insecurity of tenure - this covers homelessness, intimidation and temporary housing
  • housing conditions - this covers overcrowding, sharing and disrepair
  • health and wellbeing - this covers people who have mobility problems or need home help
  • social needs - this covers neighbourhood, family and location problems. 

This list contains all the points that your housing officer can give you. This video has some more information about housing points. 

Points if you can't stay in your home

You may get extra points if 

  • you have no home, or
  • you can't stay in your home because it's unsuitable or someone has asked you to leave

Homelessness points

You will get 70 points if you pass the Housing Executive's homelessness investigation. People call these "Full Duty Applicant" or FDA points. 

You may get 50 points if

  • you don't pass the Housing Executive's homeless investigation, but
  • you are homeless for certain reasons and you cannot be expected to find your own housing. 

Our points list sets out the situations where someone might get these points. These are "Other Homeless Points"

Intimidation points

You may get 200 intimidation points if

  • your home has been destroyed in an attack, or
  • there is a confirmed threat that you could be killed or seriously injured in an attack 

Intimidation points are only given out if

  • the police, or a similar organisation, confirms the threat and
  • the threat against you is for a specific reason or from a particular group. 

Often people are at risk of attack or even death, but they still do not get intimidation points. Speak to our advisers if you think you should have these points. 

Temporary housing points

You can get 20 points if

  • you have your 70 homeless points, and
  • the Housing Executive arranged your temporary housing, and
  • you've been in temporary housing for at least 6 months. 

Housing conditions

You can get points if your housing conditions are bad.


You may get points if you are sharing facilities with other people who won't be moving with you. You won't get sharing points if you've invited someone to live with you. 

Your sharing points will be higher if you have children. 

Look at our points list to work out how many sharing points you should have. 


You will get points if there are not enough bedrooms where you are living for everyone in your household. 

The number of points depends on

  • the number of people on your housing application, and
  • the number of rooms available to those people at your current address. 

You get 10 points for each bedroom you are short. You only get overcrowding points for the people on your form. A single person who lives with her parents and 5 siblings in a 1 bed flat will only get 10 points because she only needs one bedroom. 

Some rooms are only big enough for a child. Our points list explains what size rooms must be.  

Too many bedrooms

You can get points if you have applied for a transfer and you have spare bedrooms. You’ll get 10 points for each extra bedroom you have.  You’ll get a maximum of 30 points.

Points for poor housing

You may get points if your home is in a really poor state, but only for certain problems.

Our points list explains which problems can get points. You’ll get 10 points for each of these issues. You will need to get the council to agree that these problems exist in your home. 

It can be difficult to get these points. Speak to our advisers if your home is in poor condition. 

Points for time on the waiting list

You will get 2 points if

  • you've been on the waiting list for 2 years, and
  • you already have other points. 

You'll get another 2 points for every extra year you are on the list. You can only get a total of 10 points for time on the list.    

Health & well-being 

You can get points if you struggle to manage in your current home because of health issues. 

Mobility problems

You may get points if someone in your household has a mobility problems, and

  • they struggle to walk, or they use walking aids or a wheelchair
  • they struggle to get upstairs to use the bathroom or bedroom in your home, or
  • your home has a steep approach or steps

The number of points you get depends on 

  • how much help the person needs to do certain tasks, and
  • how many people in the home have problems. 

Our points list explains how many points you can get. 

Points if you need help with certain tasks

You can get points if you 

  • want to live in sheltered or supported housing, and
  • you need help looking after yourself or looking after your home. 

Our points list explains how many points you can get. These points only count towards offers of sheltered or supported housing. 

Complex needs points

You can get 20 points if someone in your household has intense support or care needs. The Housing Executive decides if you should have these points. This can happen because

  • your housing officer thinks that you need extra support, or
  • your health and care trust refers you for a complex needs assessment. 

People who have complex needs can live in supported housing or general housing. 

Contact our advisers if you think you should have complex needs points. 

Points for social problems

You may get extra points if you are having certain social problems. Points in this section are broken into

  • primary social needs factors which score 20 points each, and
  • other social needs factors which score 10 points each. 

Primary social needs points

You can get up to 40 primary social needs points. You may get these points if

  • you have been attacked or fear you may be attacked in your home or neighbourhood
  • you've experienced serious trauma in your home
  • you can't live with your dependent children because your home is unsuitable for them
  • Social Services say you need to move to avoid going into care
  • Social Services say you need to move to be a foster carer. 

You may also get points if a similarly serious issue has happened. 

Other social needs points

You can get up to 40 other social needs points. There are lots of different reasons why you might get these points, including

  • you're having problems with neighbours
  • you're being harassed but there is no threat of violence
  • you need to move to a new area for certain reasons
  • your home is too expensive or too difficult for you to maintain
  • you're staying with someone else and the stress of this is making their health condition worse
  • you have shared access to your children but they can't stay with you because your home isn't suitable

Our points list sets out the different reasons you can get other social needs points. 

Don’t have enough points for a home

Some people won't have enough points for a home in the area they want to live in. If you are worried about your points, you should

  • ask your housing officer for an up-to-date breakdown of your points. 
  • ask that this include the numbers for any social needs points you have. 

Contact our advisers once you have your breakdown. We can check if there are other points you could ask for.