In accordance with Regulation 5 of the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 (as amended), a household may apply for social housing support to one housing authority only, which may be the authority for the area in which the household normally resides or with which it has a local connection, or the authority that agrees, at its discretion, to assess the household for support.
In determining whether a household has a local connection with its area, a housing authority must have regard to whether a household member:
- lived in the area for a continuous five- year period at any time in the past,
- is employed in the area or within 15 km of the area,
- is in full-time education, or attending specialist medical care in the area, or
- has a relative (defined in the Regulations) living in the area for two years or longer.
A household meeting either the residence or local connection criteria may specify up to three areas of choice for receipt of support and, if qualified, will be entered on the housing waiting list.
As indicated above, it is not possible for a household to apply to more than one housing authority for social housing support at a time. Furthermore, it is not possible for a household on the waiting list of one housing authority to transfer its application to another authority and to carry the time spent on the previous list.
As part of the broader Social Housing Reform agenda, my Department is examining ways of creating a more flexible and responsive system of housing support. The issue of allowing households scope to move between local authority housing lists will be looked at in this context.