Support with Housing

We all need good quality affordable homes to live in.

Over half of adults with an intellectual disability live in a family home setting. This compares with just under 1/5th of the general adult population. Outside that setting, housing for people with an intellectual disability generally takes the form of residential services in community group homes or in larger institutional settings. Importantly for people with disabilities, housing guidelines say that people with a disability “shall not be deemed adequately housed when their current address is a congregated setting, institution, hospital/nursing home, community based group home, or when they, although an adult, remain in the family home due to their personal circumstances and/or support needs.”

Planning Ahead

Most local authorities look at how much time someone has been on the list to decide who gets a house next.
If you need social housing, if you are eligible for social housing, if you have additional support needs, do not wait until you are in a crisis to find out about your housing options or to apply for social housing support.

Social Housing Options and How to Apply – View Details

First step - Talk your local authority

Local authorities, local city or county councils, are the main providers of social housing in Ireland. The allocation of social housing is determined by eligibility and need, with rents based upon the household’s ability to pay. In order to be housed by your local council you must normally be registered on the local authority housing waiting list.

Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are independent, non-profit organisations. They also provide affordable housing for those who cannot afford to pay private rental rents, or for particular groups such as older people, or people with a disability. In order to be housed by an AHB, you must normally be registered on the local authority housing waiting list. You can contact the housing department in your local council to find out about social housing options and how to apply for housing.

The Housing Agency provides clear and simple advice on


Apply for Local Authority or Social Housing

To apply for social housing support, you must fill in and submit an application form to your local authority. You can only apply to one Local Authority. This Local Authority must be in the area where you and your household usually live. You can apply to another area if someone living in the house has a local connection to that area.

For information on applying for social housing visit The Housing Agency website.

The Housing Agency provides advice on Applying for Social Housing Support.

To help you complete your form Inclusion Ireland has developed an Easy to Read Guide for the Housing Agency –
Easy to Read Guide to Filling in the Social Housing Support Application Form

How Local Authorities Allocate Houses

Each local authority draws up its own rules for deciding the order of priority on their housing list. These are called allocation schemes and are generally published on the local authority’s website or you can ask staff at the housing department to explain how they organise or order the housing waiting list.


Social Housing Supports Through the Private Sector

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support provided by local authorities. HAP allows a person who qualifies for social housing support to rent in the private sector, subject to certain limits. The local authority pays the market rent to the landlord and the tenant pays an affordable rent to the local authority.

There is the concern that availing of HAP as a tenant results in the person being removed from the social housing waiting list. However, people can apply to be placed on the transfer list and, if they do it within two weeks of receiving the letter confirming the HAP payment, will still have their time on the waiting list counted, which means that if a regular social housing unit becomes available, they would be considered for a transfer across.

With the Rental Accommodation Scheme RAS Landlords can put their properties forward for a period of 4 to 10 years and the local authority will nominate a household to that property. The tenant pays an affordable rent to the local authority and the local authority makes payments to the landlord on behalf of the tenant. The scheme is available to all people who qualify for social housing supports, including those moving from congregated settings and those residing in the community requiring housing on disability/medical grounds.

You apply to your local authority for HAP or RAS.
Information on HAP and RAS is available on the Department for Housing, Planning and Local Government website. Further information is available on the Housing Agency website.