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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Purchasing a home for someone with very specific housing needs

In very, very rare circumstances the Housing Executive can ask a Housing Association to buy a property for someone on the waiting list.  This is known as the Special Acquisition of Dwellings.

Rules of the Special Acquisition of Dwellings scheme

The Housing Executive will only use this scheme if every other possible way of rehousing you and your family has been exhausted.  Purchasing a house for you may be appropriate if

  • there are so many people in your household that you can’t be housed in the general stock of public housing
  • it’s not possible to adapt properties already in the general stock to meet your household’s needs
  • you have intimidation points and complex needs and you can’t be safely housed within your areas of choice within a reasonable timeframe

People who can use this option

You’ll only be considered for this option if

  • you have passed all 4 homelessness tests or have been given intimidation points and
  • you, or someone in your household, has been identified as having complex needs or an Area Manager believes your family has exceptional needs

Other housing options

Before agreeing to purchase a property for you, the Housing Executive must look at all the other options, including

  • contacting any housing associations operating in your areas of choice to ask if they have a suitable property or a property that could be adapted to meet your needs
  • finding a suitable property in a nearby area, as long as it is safe for you to live in this area and it’s still practical for you to attend any specialist services you need
  • making a large property out of 2 neighbouring smaller properties to suit a large family
  • investigating any new build developments in the area to see if a specially adapted property for you can be built as part of this development

Accepted on the scheme

If the Housing Executive decides that purchasing a property for your household is the most practical option available, it will select a housing association to manage the purchase.

The housing association will then identify a suitable property for you.  The association should work with you and with any agencies that support you to fully understand your complex needs and to make sure the property is suitable for you.