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The 20 Housing Associations in Northern Ireland are major providers of social and affordable housing in, providing more than 58,000  social and affordable homes. These homes are developed through the Social Housing Development Programme, which is managed by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s (NIHE) Development Programme Group and provides grant funding to housing associations so that they can build or acquire new social housing.

Housing Associations also work to build strong communities, investing significantly in neighbourhood services, ranging from anti-social behaviour initiatives to supported employment programmes and IT classes. Ultimately, housing associations make communities better places to live and are important partners for public sector and community organisations.

For social housing, our members work with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to allocate homes to households from a shared waiting list, which is managed by the NIHE.  Anyone in need of a home must complete a common housing application form which is returned to the NIHE for assessment according to the housing selection scheme’s criteria. To find out more about how to apply for social housing, visit the NIHE website.

Alongside social housing, other housing solutions are provided, including co-ownership housing, where potential first-time buyers apply directly to Co-Ownership Housing.

Housing associations are registered charities and social enterprises, who invest any profit back into the organisation to help continue to provide new homes, and invest in existing homes through planned maintenance and upgrades.

In Northern Ireland Housing Associations are regulated by the Department for Communities (DfC), who are responsible for funding, monitoring, regulation and issue of guidance and policy directives to registered housing associations. DfC liaises regularly with NIFHA on policy and legislation issues.

All housing associations have complaints procedures which need to be followed. These can usually be found on the specific associations website or you can contact them directly to request these. In extreme circumstances where you have already followed ALL of the associations procedures and you are still not happy you can take your complaint to the ombudsman.

Please note the ombudsman will only deal with your complaint if you have exhausted all of the association’s complaints procedures.

Northern Ireland Ombudsman
33 Wellington Place

T: 028 9023 3821
The Ombudsman

Freephone number:- 0800 34 34 24