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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Waiting list

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.

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.

Some people won't ever get enough points for an offer.  If you're in this position you'll need to think about other housing options, like renting privately or making your current home more suitable.

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