Applying For A Home

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) is responsible for carrying out housing assessments. To apply you will need to complete a short application form and return it the closest NIHE office to you.

To request an application form, please contact us on 028 38 339795 or if you prefer you can download and print the form by clicking here

You will need to be assessed under the Common Selection Scheme and placed onto the common waiting list.

The Common Selection Scheme

The Common Selection Scheme is a points-based system that is used when assessing personal circumstances and housing needs of applicants/transfers applying for social rented housing. If you make an application to be re-housed for social housing, you will be assessed under the selection scheme and awarded points for your various housing needs. You will be ranked accordingly on the common waiting list.

It is important to know that an applicant/transfer’s position on the list is subject to change and any changes of circumstances of your personal circumstances/housing needs must be reported to the NIHE if you’re an applicant or to current landlord if you’re a tenant, as that may have an impact on your housing application.

Applying from outside Northern Ireland

If applying for Social Rented Housing from outside Northern Ireland your eligibility for housing in Northern Ireland and your housing needs will be assessed in the same way as any other applicant.

However, as the Northern Ireland Housing Executive will not be able to carry out a home visit, you will be asked to complete a Housing App Form and Self Assessment

If you are Homeless

If you consider yourself to be homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless you should contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive as soon as possible on 03448 920 900.  They will determine your eligibility for social housing or homelessness assistance.

Requesting a Transfer

If you are currently living in a Housing Executive or Housing Association home in Northern Ireland and would like to transfer to another social rented home you will need to complete a Housing/Transfer Application form and return it to your landlord’s office.

A Housing Officer will subsequently visit you on behalf of your landlord to carry out a needs assessment and determine if you are eligible for a transfer. If you are eligible, your points will be assessed and you will be placed on the common waiting list for your areas and landlords of choice.

Mutual Exchange

A mutual exchange is another way you can move to another social housing property and can be a quicker way of moving rather than waiting for a transfer offer from a social housing landlord, especially if your transfer application is assessed as a low priority. Under this scheme, you can exchange your home with a tenant of another social housing landlord, provided you are eligible to do so.

If you find a suitable swap, both you and the tenant you wish to exchange with need to write to your landlords and ask for permission to do so.  Both homes will then be inspected by a housing officer before approval can be granted.  The landlords’ decision will be forwarded in writing to both parties.

You can find potential home swaps by registering with HomeSwapper at  HomeSwapper is a mutual exchange system that helps tenants to find a mutual exchange from a wide choice of properties advertised by other tenants looking to exchange.  This service is free to our tenants.

You can also find potential swaps by word of mouth, advertising in local newspapers, postcards in shop windows and online classifieds and community websites.