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 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.
Asylum seekers can’t usually apply for social housing, and some other people can also be prevented from applying. If you, or someone who is part of your application has done certain things in the last 2 years, like been evicted, abandoned a property, owed rent or lied on an application form, you can be disqualified from applying.
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 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'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.
In extremely limited circumstances the Housing Executive may work with a housing association to purchase a property for a person if they have complex needs and have spent a long time on the waiting list without receiving offers. This is known as the Special Acquisition of Dwellings.