Applying for accommodation outside Northern Ireland
There are a number of websites which you can use if you'd like to exchange your social rented home in Northern Ireland for one in another part of the UK. You must have your landlord's permission to add your property to these websites and you may have to pay a fee.
If you are not a Housing Executive or housing association tenant but you want to apply for social housing in England, Scotland or Wales you must apply to the council in the area you wish to live in.
There are a number of websites where allow you to list your social rented home for an exchange. Some of these sites are forum based while others run on a database which allows you to search by certain criteria, such as area or property size. The easiest way to find these sites is to run an internet search using search terms like "council house exchange". Not all of these sites list properties in Northern Ireland so you may have to look at quite a few before you find a good match.
Some websites are free to use while others may charge a fee. You must get permission from your landlord before you can list your property on one of these websites. Not all social properties are eligible for exchanges. Some, such as bungalows or properties which have been designed for people with disabilities, may be exempt from exchanges.
Some of the sites you may find useful include:
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I'm not a Housing Executive or housing association tenant
If you are not a Housing Executive or housing association tenant contact the local authority of your chosen area. Each local authority has a scheme for allocating permanent accommodation. You will usually be assessed and placed on a waiting list like in Northern Ireland. The Advice Services Directory has details of every local authority.
You can get advice on applying for permanent accommodation outside Northern Ireland from Shelter.
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