What is social housing support?
Social housing support is provided by a local authority or Approved Housing Body to people who cannot afford to pay for housing from their own resources.
Local authorities are the main providers of social housing support in Ireland. There are a number of ways a local authority provides housing:
- A social rented tenancy in property owned and managed by the local authority (often referred to as council housing)
- A social rented tenancy in property owned and managed by an Approved Housing Body*
- A tenancy in a property the local authority is managing or has leased from a private property owner
- A HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) tenancy (see HAP section below).
The amount of rent you pay will be based on your income and household size.
*Approved Housing Bodies are independent non-profit making organisations that provide:
- rented housing for people who cannot afford to buy their own homes, and
- specialist housing, such as housing for older people or homeless people.
They provide housing on a similar basis as a local authority. These organisations can take a number of legal forms, such as incorporated bodies, trust bodies or societies. They are also known as Voluntary Housing, Housing Associations or Housing Co-operatives.
How do I apply for Social Housing Support?
You must make an application to your local authority
Applications forms are available in the housing department of your local authority or through their website
Your application will be assessed on the basis of your income, family size, current accommodation, accommodation history, immigration status, health and any disability. You will have to have a connection to your local authority area.
If you qualify for social housing support you will be added to the local authority housing waiting list.
Waiting lists are long and due to a shortage of housing units, it may take a number of years for you to be offered a house by your local authority.
What is the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)?
HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) is a form of social housing support for people provided by all local authorities.
To access HAP you must be on your local authority housing list.
You must find your own accommodation in the private rented market.
Under HAP, local authorities will make a monthly payment to a landlord, subject to terms and conditions including rent limits, on your behalf. In return, you pay a weekly contribution towards the rent to the local authority. This ‘rent contribution’ is based on household income. It is calculated in the same way as the rent paid by a tenant of a local authority owned property.
If you wish to continue to receive social housing support after you receive HAP, you must apply to be added to your local authority housing transfer list within 7 days of accessing HAP
For more information go to: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/renting_a_home/housing_assistance_payment.html
What is rent supplement?
Rent supplement is a social welfare payment paid in very limited circumstances for certain people living in private rented accommodation who require assistance with paying their rent. For more information about this go to Welfare.