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Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) 2021 Released

Posted: Mar 30, 2022 By: Communications Research area:  Social Housing
Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) 2021 Released

Social Housing Lists Cut By a Third

Over 9,000 Social Homes Delivered Last Year – up 17% on Previous Year

Households on Social Housing Waiting List Drop by over 32,000 in Five Years

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien, T.D, has today welcomed figures published in the 2021 Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) which show a substantial reduction of 35.3% in the social housing waiting list since the first annual assessment was conducted in 2016.

The 2021 SSHA shows 59,247 households were assessed as being qualified for, and in need of, social housing support as of 17 November 2021. This figure is down 2,633 (4.3%) from 61,880 households on 2 November 2020.   This figure also represents a total decrease of 32,353 (35.3%) since 2016.

The Minister also published the social housing statistics for Quarter 4 2021.  A total of 4,010 social homes were delivered in Quarter 4, including 2,053 new build social homes, 810 acquisitions and 1,147 homes delivered through leasing programmes. 

Overall in 2021, a total of 9,183 new social homes were delivered, an increase of 17% on 2020 figures. This total includes 5,202 (an increase of 2.6% on 2020) new build homes, 1,270 acquisitions and 2,711 homes delivered through leasing programmes.

The Minister welcomed the publication of the data, noting that for a fifth consecutive year the overall number of households on local authority waiting lists continued to decrease. He also welcomed the fact that 9,183 social housing solutions were found for people despite the significant impact which the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent construction sector shutdowns had on efforts.

Commenting on today’s figures, Minister O’Brien said:

“These results are evidence that Government investment in social housing supports is working. Over 23,300 households had their housing needs met in 2021 – this is despite the very significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on delivery. It’s important to remember that most residential construction was halted for a 13-week period from January to April. 

“We must not, and will not, lose sight of the fact that there are still just over 59,000 households who are relying on us for the provision of housing support. Housing for All, which was launched six months ago, sets us on a pathway to delivering 90,000 new social homes by the end of 2030. This year we will be investing more than €4 billion, to deliver 11,820 new social homes in 2022, including 9,000 new build social homes. 

“We are watching the situation in Ukraine closely. The Russian invasion is having significant impacts on all sectors of society and as we ramp up all types of housing delivery this year we will be wary of any impact the war will have. 

“The strong pipeline of home building activity is encouraging. New figures show that in the past twelve months (March 2021 to February 2022), Commencement Notices for the construction of 33,006 new homes were received. This is the highest rolling 12-month total since comparable data was first published. Specifically related to social housing, the Construction Status Report for Quarter 4 2021, showed that there were 8,749 social homes onsite at the end of December, with a further 10,455 homes at various stages of design and procurement. Supporting local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to increase housing construction is a priority for my Department.”


Notes to Editors

2021 SSHA Report attached.

NB: The key figure reported in the SSHA is referred to as ‘Net Need’ - that is the total number of households qualified for social housing support but whose need is not currently being met. This total excludes households that are:

  1. Duplicate applications – where a household has applied to more than one area for social housing, only their oldest application is included in the count.
  2. Already in receipt of social housing support, e.g. households currently living in local authority rented accommodation, voluntary/co-operative accommodation, accommodation provided under the HAP scheme, accommodation provided under the RAS, or accommodation provided under the SHCEP schemes.
  3. On a transfer list - any household that has applied for a transfer from an existing form of social housing support.

Detailed results of previous Summary of Social Housing Assessments are available on the Department’s website.


No. on List




Dated September 21st 2016. First of annual SSHA’s. Previous SSHA carried out in 2013.



Dated June 28th 2017. Decrease of 6.3% on previous SSHA 



Dated June 11th 2018. Decrease of 16.2% on previous SSHA 



Dated June 24th 2019. Decrease of 4.4% on previous SSHA 



Dated 2nd November 2020. Decrease of 9.9% on previous SSHA 



Dated 17th November 2021. Decrease of 4.3% on previous SSHA