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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Points

Social housing is housing owned by either the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or housing associations. The Housing Selection Scheme is the list of rules that the Housing Executive and housing associations use when deciding who they should offer this housing to.

Because of the shortage of social housing some people will wait a very long time before they get offered a property. You could have a long wait, even if you passed the 4 homeless tests and are legally homeless.

You'll have to renew your application every year and if you don't do this, you'll be removed from the waiting list. It's important that you keep your details up to date. A change in your circumstances could mean you're entitled to more points. You can also lose points if your circumstances change.

When you apply for social housing you’ll have to choose 2 areas where you’d like to live. Most people can choose any areas they want but there are restrictions on some people.

You are entitled to 3 reasonable offers of accommodation. When you get an offer you'll have an opportunity to view the property. Your offer letter should explain how much you'll have to pay for the property.

You're only entitled to 3 reasonable offers. If you're offered a property that you don't want you'll lose one of these offers unless you can show the Housing Executive or housing association that the offer wasn't reasonable. How you challenge the decision depends on whether you've passed the 4 homelessness tests of not.

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.

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.

When you apply for housing your housing officer will award you points based on your personal, housing and social circumstances. The more points you have, the better your chance of getting an offer. People can be unclear about when points are awarded. Points can only be given to you if you can show that you meet a specific standard set out in the Selection Scheme. Ask the Housing Executive for a breakdown of your points if you’re not sure which ones you’ve been given.

You'll probably wait a long time for an offer if your points are low. There are a couple of things you can try to speed up the process. You could change your areas of choice to an area with less demand or you could look at the properties available on the Housing Executive's Choice Based Lettings scheme.

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