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Housing allocation - general information

The Housing Selection Scheme applies to accommodation owned by  landlords who participate in this scheme except where accommodation is let on a temporary basis.

How the Housing Selection Scheme works

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) has published a booklet which gives full details of the scheme. You can get a copy by contacting any Housing Executive or housing association office, or by downloading it from the link below.

Aims of the Scheme

The scheme has been created to be fair and open and to give applicants a choice in where they wish to live. Anyone applying under this scheme will be:

  • visited and assessed
  • registered on a common waiting list
  • allocated property according to the rules of the scheme

Eligibility

To apply, you must meet certain requirements. Generally, you should be 18 years old at the date of application, but in certain circumstances, you may still be eligible if you are at least 16 years old. Please contact the Housing Executive if you are in any doubt as to whether you would meet the requirements. They will investigate the eligibility of everyone who applies for housing. This will include deciding if:

  • you are a person from abroad who is not entitled to housing assistance
  • you, or a member of your household, has been guilty of unacceptable behaviour

How homes are allocated

Usually, each house will be offered to the applicant with the highest points. Where points are equal, the date on which the application is received will decide the order in which applicants are offered accommodation.

In some areas there are blocks of flats that will not be allocated to anyone under 35 years old. This decision is made under the rules of the selection scheme.

Further information on this can be obtained from your local Housing Executive office or housing association.

Disqualifications

Landlords may disqualify certain applicants from being housed. This can apply, for example, in cases where the applicant has:

  • rent arrears
  • abandoned a previous tenancy
  • illegally occupied a dwelling
  • been involved in serious anti-social behaviour

You will be entitled to a maximum of three reasonable offers. If you refuse three reasonable offers you may not receive any further offers for a period of one year. Alternatively, in some circumstances you may have your points reduced but still be considered for accommodation.

Your responsibilities

You are responsible for the accuracy of all information given on your application form and during your assessment visit. You must also tell the landlord dealing with your application of every change of circumstances which may affect your application. If you are allocated a home on the basis of false or incorrect information your tenancy may be terminated.

You will be asked in writing each year whether you still need accommodation. If you don’t reply you may be removed from the waiting list. If you deliberately worsen your circumstances in order to gain a higher ranking on the waiting list you may have the advantage of any additional points entitlement withheld for a period of two years.

Housing information in other languages

You can find out more about the housing rights of EEA nationals in Northern Ireland by visting the Housing Advice website:

The site is available in English, Polish, Lithuanian, Slovak, Russian and Portuguese. You can learn more about renting privately, homelessness, sharing a home, paying for your accommodation and other issues that affect migrant workers:

More useful links