Apply for Social Housing

Social rented housing is provided by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) and Housing Associations (social landlords).

All social landlords aim to provide good-quality, affordable housing to people in housing need. Each social landlord is an independent organisation and can offer different services.

The application process is how the Housing Executive makes sure that you are eligible for social rented housing. The Housing Executive will try to make the process as straightforward as possible and will acknowledge your application and arrange for a visit to be carried out to assess your circumstances.

  • Rural Housing AssociationStep 1


    Applying from

    within Northern Ireland

    Call the NIHE on 03448 920 900 to make your application. They will make an appointment for you to be visited. However, if you are a Rural Housing Association tenant wishing to transfer then you should still contact our office. If you are a tenant of another Association you should contact them as they are responsible for administering your transfer request.

    If you are applying for housing and you are currently living in Northern Ireland, you can download the housing/transfer application form. You can also use this form if you want to apply for sheltered housing or specialist accommodation where extra support is available. You can also get a form from your local Housing Executive or housing association office.

    Download the Housing/Transfer application form

    The same application form will allow you to be considered by all social landlords who have available housing where you want to live. The housing/transfer application form includes some notes to help you complete it. If you need more help then please contact us on 02882246118.

    Applying from

    outside Northern Ireland

    We welcome applications from people living outside Northern Ireland. Your eligibility for housing in Northern Ireland and your housing needs will be assessed by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in the same way as any other applicant.

    However, as the NIHE are unable to carry out a visit, you will need to download and complete a self-assessment form, as well as the Housing / Transfer Application Form.

    You should complete both forms and return them to the relevant NIHE office. They will then assess your housing needs, and if you are eligible, will place you on the waiting list for your areas and landlords of choice.



  • Rural Housing AssociationStep 2

    Application Recieved

    Upon receipt of your application form, an appointment will be made for you to be visited (if applicable) and your housing needs assessed. All Transfer cases will be awarded points in line with the Housing Selection Scheme for Northern Ireland.

    Your request for a transfer will not normally be considered where:

    • Your existing tenancy is less than two years old
    • You have arrears of four weeks or more
    • The existing property is not in a good state of repair or you owe recoverable charges for repairs
    • You are guilty of any other serious breach of the tenancy conditions.
  • Rural Housing AssociationStep 3


    The Housing Selection Scheme is governed by a set of rules which has been approved by the Department for Communities.

    The Scheme applies to accommodation owned by participating landlords (except where it is let on a temporary basis).

    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 the scheme will be registered and assessed under the rules of the common selection scheme.