Registered Housing Associations must contact NIHE (DPG) to check if another Housing Association has already registered an interest in a particular site before making a written site registration application.


The purpose of the property/site registration stage is to prevent unnecessary duplication of effort by two or more Associations investigating the development potential of the same site.  Site registration is mandatory. This allows one Association time to investigate the site’s potential, reducing abortive work in the preparation of schemes to the minimum.  In this respect, it is in the interest of Associations to liaise closely with NIHE (DPG) on the location of potential development sites.

Registration of sites - cannot be made by telephone but Associations may make telephone enquiries to NIHE (DPG) as to whether a site is already registered with another Association before making a written site registration application.

On finding a site the Association should consider its suitability in terms of the allocation(s) it has received, or may expect to receive in the future.  The Association must seek to confirm that the proposal would satisfactorily address an identified housing need. This should be achieved by reference to any or all of the following:-

  • Unmet Social Housing Need Prospectus
  • currently published SHDP incorporating Strategic Guidelines
  • District Housing Plan
  • NIHE Marker Schemes (These are locations where unmet housing need has been highlighted by ‘marker schemes’ in a prospectus for unmet housing need pending identification of an actual scheme.)
  • Contact with the relevant NIHE Regional Planner

Before submitting the application for registration in writing the Association must first satisfy itself:

  • that the NIHE (Regional Planner) supports the proposals in principle prior to seeking formal support for housing need; and
  • that the Association can provide confirmation of the vendor’s authority to register the site with NIHE (DPG) and, in cases where the property is not on the open market, they are prepared to negotiate with the Association.

All site registrations must be made using the Form S1.

Site / Property Registration Procedures

The following procedures are for general needs schemes in the first instance. Site registration for supported housing normally occurs after ASPP prioritisation of need has been established.  The registration procedures are broadly the same for Supported Housing except for the role of the ASPP in confirming need and prioritisation of proposals. However, this does not preclude sites being identified, registered and subsequently matched up with a prioritised need for Supported Housing. Associations, however, should not pursue scheme proposals outside of the agreed commissioning processes for Supported Housing schemes. Links to relevant guidance on Supported Housing can be found below.

If the application is successful a site will normally be registered in the Association’s name for 6-months. If at the end of this period an application for Project Approval has not been made, NIHE (DPG) will cancel the registration unless a request for an extension of the registration is received from an Association before the expiry date. Re-registration is not an automatic process. At the point of seeking re-registration, the Association must provide clear evidence to confirm that it is progressing the proposed scheme to meet key development milestones. NIHE (DPG) may not re-register the site if the delay in progressing the scheme is not justified. This will allow other Associations to consider proactively pursuing the development opportunity. In exceptional circumstances NIHE (DPG) may recommend that the site registration is transferred to another Association. Associations should consult the relevant pre-qualifications for the proposed scheme type to assist in their project management of schemes.

Where a second Association approaches NIHE (DPG) with a proposal for a site currently registered to another Association - DPG will request evidence of progress in scheme development from the current registration holder. Where satisfactory evidence is not provided, NIHE (DPG) will consider de-registration of the site from the first Association in favour of the new proposal presented by the subsequent Association.

Associations are responsible for monitoring their own registrations and ensuring information is provided to meet the required deadlines.

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