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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Social housing

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.

The law gives Housing Executive certain rights. These rights will usually be summarised in your tenancy agreement and your tenant's handbook.

While the Housing Executive has certain responsibilities to you, you also have certain responsibilities. These should be outlined in your tenancy agreement and your tenant's handbook.

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.

While your housing association has certain responsibilities to you, you also have certain responsibilities. These should be outlined in your tenancy agreement and your tenant's handbook.

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.

Your Tenant’s Handbook should explain whether you or the Housing Executive is responsible for repairs.  Ask your local district office for a copy of the handbook if you don’t already have one.

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.

The amount of time you'll have to wait for an offer of housing will normally depend on where you want to live and how many points you have.  Points can be confusing.  This information should help you understand how the system works.

Once you've been a tenant for 5 years you may be able to buy your home. The amount of discount you'll get increases depending on how long you've lived in the property. Some property types can't be bought because they are difficult to come by and needed for social housing stock.

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