Housing Solutions and Support

We use a ‘Housing Solution and Support’ approach to meet our customers' needs.

This means when you contact us about housing issues, we look at all your housing options and choices.

If your situation means that you are homeless or threatened with homelessness we will take whatever actions are possible to address your homelessness or prevent you becoming homeless. 

It is our statutory duty to investigate your application and where a homeless assessment is undertaken it is also a requirement to undertake a housing needs assessment under the rules of the Housing Selection Scheme.

You can read more in our section on:

We can also offer assistance to those with accommodation but who wish to move.

As part of the Housing Solutions and Support Service we can offer advice and assistance, make referrals or signpost to other organisations on many issues, including but not limited to:-

  • health services
  • social services
  • support providers and
  • advice agencies to help with money and debt issues

Our staff will complete a Housing Solutions interview with you. 

During this interview we will not only assess your long term housing needs but also offer advice and assistance on any immediate housing issues. 

We can help you make informed choices regarding your permanent housing options. 

These options may include Social Housing, Private Rented Accommodation, Home Ownership or arrangements to help you remain in your current accommodation.

To discuss your Housing Solutions with one of our Housing Advisors or Patch Managers if you are a Housing Executive tenant, you can:

Housing Solutions can include:

Where it is in your best interests and reasonable to do so remaining in your current home may be the best housing solution for you.

The types of support and/or assistance that would be available to help you remain in your current home include:-
  • signposting to specialist agencies, including but not limited to health services, social services, support providers, money advice and family mediation services

  • a referral to one of our floating support providers

  • provision of Financial Inclusion Services - read more in our section Making Your Money Work

  • adaptations to your current home - read more in our section Apply for a grant

  • discussions with family members and others to help resolve issues

  • advocating on your behalf with your landlord to try help you remain in your current home

  • provision of information on private rented accommodation

  • provision of specialist information on sanctuary scheme, if you are a Housing Executive tenant and a victim of domestic abuse 

We will offer housing and support options based on your specific individual circumstances and discuss with you the realistic prospects for each.
Move accommodation (with support if required) 

If social housing is an option you wish to explore during your Housing Solutions interview your Housing Advisor will provide you with as much information to allow you to make a fully informed decision on whether you apply for social housing. 

The Housing Executive and Housing Associations provide social rented housing in Northern Ireland. Each landlord is independent and can offer different services.

The Housing Executive carries out all housing needs assessments for social housing for new applicants and transfer requests for Housing Executive tenants. 

Most Housing Associations carry out their own transfer requests.

All assessments are carried out in line with the rules of the Housing Selection Scheme in which points are awarded based on your individual housing needs. All social landlords use a Common Waiting List in order to allocate their properties.

You can read more in our section on:

If you apply for social housing you will have the opportunity to choose a minimum of one area of choice and as many areas as you wish.

In order to help you make an informed decision regarding your areas of choice your Housing Advisor can inform you of the demand and turnover for social housing in any given area as well as the points level on which allocations are typically made in that area.  

This information will allow you to make fully informed choices as to where you wish to be considered for social housing. 

There may be exceptional circumstances where you may need a bespoke housing solution and our Housing Support Officers will examine potential options for you.

If you are a social housing tenant and have a secure tenancy, you have a right to a direct exchange. We will explain how the direct exchange process works.

You also have the option to register with HomeSwapper.

This is a free online service which can help you swap your current home with another social housing tenant within Northern Ireland.

If you are a Housing Executive tenant and are interested in using this service, we can support you to register for HomeSwapper and assist you with the online application.

You can read more at:

Sheltered housing is social housing accommodation specifically designed for older people, (usually over 55) or younger people with certain disabilities, to allow them to live independently in self-contained accommodation with some communal facilities.

The majority of sheltered accommodation provides low level support, generally through a warden and/or Carecall service. Certain sheltered accommodation schemes can also offer assistance to those customers with more intensive support and personal care needs.

Sheltered accommodation can be a good option for some customers particularly those who are struggling to manage in their current home, those who may have reduced mobility, those who may be lonely and those who may not feel safe in their home. 

Housing for over 55’s is designed to promote quality of life and to help older people maintain an independent lifestyle in an environment that breaks down barriers of social isolation and promotes overall well-being.

A key objective of this service is to actively encourage residents to maintain their independence.

If you are interested in applying for sheltered accommodation or Housing accommodation for over 55s and would like more information you can discuss this during your Housing Solutions interview.

In supported housing, accommodation is provided alongside support, supervision or care to help people live as independently as possible in the community.

This includes:

  • People with mental ill health
  • People with a learning disability
  • Older people 
  • People with a physical / sensory disability
  • Young people with a support need 

Applications for supported housing should be made by a suitably qualified professional; such as a social worker. Applicants can avail of supported housing on a short or long term basis.

This is dependent on individual needs. 

Supported Housing is separate from the general housing list. Allocations are not based on points but instead the needs of each individual.

Depending on your circumstances, renting in the PRS may be the most realistic housing solution for you.

This option will be dependent on your financial circumstances and your ability to afford the cost associated with the PRS.

Renting from a private landlord may offer particular advantages in terms of choice, availability, and either furnished or unfurnished accommodation, with a range of properties to suit individual needs.

We can provide you with an overview of the sector and the opportunities for housing that it offers, including how it differs from the social sector and its associated rights and responsibilities.

We can also signpost you to various agencies who may be able to provide assistance in relation to the private rented sector.

Our past research indicates that many Travellers want to live in traditional housing. This may be either in existing social housing estates, or in ‘group housing’ schemes.

Some Travellers also want to live on serviced sites. Serviced sites provide facilities for Travellers living in static ‘mobile home’ type accommodation.

If you are interested in Traveller accommodation please go to our Advice for Travellers page for more information.  

For some customers, owner occupation may also be a suitable option to explore, particularly where prospects for social housing are limited and options in the Private Rented Sector are restricted or not appealing to the customer. 

This option will be dependent on your financial circumstances and your ability to afford the costs associated with home ownership. 

Co-Ownership is a government scheme operated by Co-Ownership Housing Association to make house buying more affordable. You can buy part and rent part now and then buy the rest later when your income improves.

If you are interested in learning more about Co-Ownership and want to explore this as an option you can discuss this during your Housing Solutions interview.