Social Housing Support Overview

Social housing support is housing provided by a local authority or an approved housing body to people who are assessed as being unable to afford housing from their own resources.

Local Authorities

Local authorities are the main providers of social housing support in Ireland and are, in fact, the biggest landlord in the State. The main purpose of the Housing Services Department in local authorities is to facilitate the provision of suitable, cost effective, quality accommodation and housing support for people who need it

Housing support can be provided in a number of ways:

  1. A rented tenancy in a property owned and managed by the local authority
  2. A rented tenancy leased (long term leasing) for 10-20 years by the local authority or approved housing body
  3. Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) where a local authority will make a monthly payment to a private landlord, subject to terms and conditions including rent limits, on a HAP tenant’s behalf
  4. Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) tenancy where the local authority arranges leases with private landlords for homes
  5. A rented tenancy in homes owned and managed by an approved housing body
  6. Specific accommodation for homeless people, older people and Travellers
  7. Adapting existing local authority homes to meet specific household needs
  8. Grants to increase accessibility in private homes for people with disabilities and special needs


Find my Local Authority


Approved Housing Bodies

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 are also known as voluntary housing associations or housing co-operatives. An approved housing body may provide housing by:

  • Building new houses
  • Buying existing homes
  • Leasing private houses

They use private finance to pay for housing development or to buy property. They also get state funding through local authorities to help provide housing.

To become a tenant of an approved housing body, you must apply through your local authority using the same application form you use for local authority housing.


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