When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Confused about points - watch this...

When you apply for housing, the Housing Officer looking after you will check the information you've put on your application form to find out how many points you're entitled to.  It's easy to get confused about points, but hopefully this video will help you understand what types of circumstances score points. 

The selection scheme is the set of rules that explains how points are awarded and how properties are offered out.  If you've got any questions about how this system works, have a look at the Waiting List section of this website

Understanding the selection scheme - figuring out your points


What do you get points for?

The video explains what type of circumstances you get points for.  Points are broken into 5 categories

  • intimidation  - if the police, or another organisation, confirms that you could be killed or your home destroyed in an attack you could get 200 points
  • homelessness - you might get 50 or 70 points if you are homeless, depending on the reasons why you are homeless
  • housing conditions - you may get points if you are sharing facilities with another family, if you don't have enough bedrooms or if your home is in a dangerous condition
  • physical health problems - if you have health problems that mean you have problems moving about your home, looking after your personal care or doing basic chores in your home you could get points
  • social problems - some people get points if they're having a particularly difficult time in their current home or neighbourhood or if they have to move elsewhere in Northern Ireland for one of the listed reasons. 

Get the full points list

Download our points checklist.  Ask the Housing Executive which points you've already got and tick these off.  Then have a look at the other categories of points to see if there are any others you could ask for. 

What happens when a property is ready to offer?

Once a vacant property is ready to offer out, the Housing Officer who is looking after it will check the waiting list to find out who to offer the property to first.  The property will normally be offered to the person

Landlords will normally offer 1 in every 3 vacancies to someone who is on the waiting list because they have applied for a transfer from their current housing association or Housing Executive home. 

What about special cases?

In exceptional circumstances, a landlord might offer a property to someone, even though someone else on the waiting list might have more points than them.  It's really, really rare for this to happen.  This could happen if a ground floor, adapted property was available - it would make sense to allocate this property to someone with a disability who needs this type of property even though someone else may have more points than them. 

This type of offer will only happen if the landlord is convinced that the decision make sense and is a good housing management decision and the landlord would be able to justify this decision if someone challenged them on it.  

Don't have enough points for an offer?

Because there's a real shortage of public housing, lots of people on the list might never get an offer because their points aren't high enough and they aren't entitled to any more points.  If this happens to you, you'll need to consider other housing options.