The Housing Selection Scheme

The Housing Selection Scheme is a set of rules that decide whether an applicant is eligible for social housing. The scheme rules are approved by the Department for Communities. They are designed to be fair and open, and to give applicants a choice in where they wish to live. The scheme determines how we offer our homes to applicants.

Aims of the Scheme

The Housing Executive and housing associations provide social rented housing in Northern Ireland. Together we're known as social landlords. We describe anyone who has applied for social housing, and is currently on the social housing waiting list, as an applicant.

When you apply for social housing we aim to complete the following steps:

  1. Assess your application
  2. Register you on the social housing waiting list.
  3. Provide you with a home.
  4. Complete these actions according to the clear rules of the Housing Selection Scheme.


We need to ensure that you are eligible for social rented housing. Usually you must be 18 years old when you apply for social housing. There are certain circumstances where you may be eligible if you are at least 16 years old.

We have information and guidance for people from abroad, including European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and non-EEA nationals in our Advice for people from abroad section. 

Contact us on 03448 920 900 if you are not sure whether you meet the requirements.

Further information

You can download and read our booklet summarising the rules of the scheme below.

You can also download the full rules of the Housing Selection Scheme.

Areas of choice
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