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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Social housing

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.

You have to pay rent to your landlord. When you’re offered a Housing Executive or housing association property you should be told how much the weekly rent is.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You’ll be responsible for dealing with many of the repairing issues in your home. Tenants are responsible for decorating the inside of the property, including carpeting and flooring and you’ll also be responsible for looking after your garden. The Housing Executive will usually deal with any structural problems or faults with the heating, plumbing and electrical systems.

The Right to Repair Scheme was set up to make sure that Housing Executive tenants get emergency and urgent repairs carried out within an acceptable timeframe. The Self Help scheme allows tenants to arrange for a private contractor to carry out certain repairs which the Housing Executive will then pay for.

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.

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