Social Housing Waiting Lists and Allocations

Housing waiting lists

If your application for social housing support is accepted, you will be put on the housing waiting list for your local authority. If you applied for housing with an approved housing body, you will also be put on their housing waiting list.

Most local authorities give priority to people who have been on the waiting list for the longest time. Some local authorities also have priority categories. To find out more about these, and about the housing waiting list you are on and how long you might have to wait, contact your local authority.

Local authorities also have specific waiting lists for:

  • Older person accommodation (over 55 years),
  • Homeless persons,
  • Traveller specific accommodation.


Choice Based Letting

Several local authorities use an online system called Choice Based Letting. This systems allows a person who is on the housing waiting list to make decisions regarding where they live and tenure choice (council, voluntary housing and leased homes). Each applicant is given a unique Username and Pin to access the website when they are approved to be included on the housing list. The council advertises homes available to-let to eligible housing applicants on their Choice Based Letting website. You can submit your expression of interest in the properties on the website. Internet access and computer facilities are available in local libraries.

As houses and flats become available for letting, they are allocated from the waiting list in order of priority, taking account of all the relevant circumstances.

Only some local authorities use the Choice Based Letting system. If your local authority uses this system, they can explain how it works.


Allocation of housing

Allocations can be made to accommodation provided directly by local authorities or to accommodation provided by approved housing bodies.

When a home that is suitable for you becomes available, your local authority will check that you still meet all the requirements for social housing. The criteria are:

  • Eligibility
  • Need
  • Connection to the area
  • Area of choice

When you move into your new home, your name will be removed from the housing waiting list. This is because your housing need is met.

Where the accommodation is provided by approved housing bodies, the local authority nominates a person from the housing list to take up the tenancy. If you are accepted as a tenant by the approved housing body, the local authority deems that your accommodation need has been met.

It should be noted that local authority housing is unfurnished. If you need help with buying furniture and appliances, you can apply to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for an Exceptional Needs Payment. These payments are part of the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.


Additional Information



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