How the Housing Selection Scheme works
The scheme was designed to be fair and open and to give applicants a choice about where they want to live. If you apply for housing through the scheme, you will get:
- a telephone interview or visit to assess your housing need
- registered on a common waiting list
- allocated property according to the scheme's rules
The Housing Executive's booklet explains the scheme. You can download the booklet below or ask for a copy from any Housing Executive or housing association office:
To apply, you must meet certain requirements. You should be 18 years old on the date you apply. In certain circumstances, you may still be eligible if you are at least 16 years old.
Contact the Housing Executive to ask about eligibility for the scheme. They will assess eligibility for all applicants.
They will consider if:
- you are a person from abroad who is not entitled to housing help
- 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 flats where the scheme will not allocate housing to tenants under 35 years old. This decision is made under the scheme's rules.
You can get more information from the Housing Executive or housing associations.
Offers of accommodation
You are entitled to three reasonable offers of housing. If you refuse three reasonable offers, you might not receive any further offers for one year.
In some circumstances, you may have your points reduced but still be considered for accommodation.
Landlords may disqualify certain applicants from being housed. This can happen if the applicant has:
- rent arrears
- abandoned a previous tenancy
- illegally occupied a property
- been involved in serious antisocial behaviour
You are responsible for giving accurate information on your application form and during your assessment visit. When there is a change in your circumstances, you must tell the landlord dealing with your application. If you are allocated a home based on 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 to gain a higher ranking on the waiting list, you may have the advantage of any additional points entitlement withheld for two years.
Housing information in other languages
You can find out more about the housing rights of EEA nationals in Northern Ireland on the Housing Advice website:
The site is published 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:
- Housing Advice - Polish language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - Lithuanian language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - Slovak language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - Russian language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - Portuguese language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - Romanian language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - Bulgarian language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - French language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - Mandarin language - Housing Rights website
- Housing Advice - Cantonese language - Housing Rights website