Registered housing associations

A housing association is a society, body of trustees or company that provides rented accommodation, specialises in accommodation for special needs groups. They are the main developers of new social housing for rent in Northern Ireland. 


Registered housing associations first came into being in 1976. Today there are 20 associations which include the Northern Ireland Co-ownership Housing Association. 

The Department is the regulator of registered housing associations.

Registered housing associations:

  • provide rented accommodation
  • specialise in accommodation for special needs groups
  • are the main developers of new social housing for rent in Northern Ireland

The Department is responsible for the funding, monitoring, regulation and issue of guidance and policy directives to Registered Housing Associations and has a statutory duty to consult with representatives of housing associations.

The Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) represents and promotes housing associations in Northern Ireland and supports them in the provision of high quality housing services for the benefit of the community. We regularly liaise with NIFHA on policy and legislation issues.


Related to Registered housing associations

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for Communities including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme. You may also request your own personal information, via a Right of Access Request.

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