When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Purchasing a home for someone with very specific housing needs

In extremely limited circumstances the Housing Executive may work with a housing association to purchase a property for a person if 

  • the person has been on the waiting list for a long time, and
  • the person has not received suitable offers and
  • the person or a person in the household has complex needs.

This is known as the Special Acquisition of Dwellings, but will normally only apply if you have very particular needs which cannot be met by the current housing stock. The purchase will have to be approved by the Department for Communities, who may insist that certain financial requirements are satisfied by NIHE and the housing association involved. 

Special acquisition option

The Housing Executive will only use this option if every other possible way of rehousing you and your family has been exhausted.  Purchasing a house for you may be appropriate if

  • there are so many people in your household that you can’t be housed in the general stock of public housing
  • it’s not possible to adapt properties already in the general stock to meet your household’s needs
  • you have intimidation points and complex needs and you can’t be safely housed within your areas of choice within a reasonable timeframe

People who can use this option

You’ll only be considered for this option if

  • you have passed all 4 homelessness tests or have been given intimidation points and
  • you, or someone in your household, has been identified as having complex needs or an Area Manager believes your family has exceptional needs

Other housing options

Before using this option to purchase a property, the Housing Executive must look at all the other available housing options, including

  • contacting any housing associations operating in your areas of choice to ask if they have a suitable property or a property that could be adapted to meet your needs
  • finding a suitable property in a nearby area, as long as it is safe for you to live in this area and it’s still practical for you to attend any specialist services you need
  • making a large property out of 2 neighbouring smaller properties to suit a large family
  • investigating any new build developments in the area to see if a specially adapted property can be built for your needs as part of this development

Finding out more

You should speak to your housing support officer if you'd like to find out more about this option.