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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Selection scheme

You can apply for social housing online at the Housing Executive's website. You may be entitled to extra help with housing if you have nowhere to live or your current home is unsuitable. 

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

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.

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.

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.

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