What is emergency accommodation and how is it assessed?
If you are made homeless, you can present to your local authority and seek emergency accommodation. The eligibility requirements for emergency accommodation are different from those required to access social housing. Types of emergency accommodation include B&B or hostel accommodation, family hubs and refuges.
There are a range of support organisations you can contact for help in relation to homelessness, many listed here: Homelessness Services – HSE.ie
What housing options do non-government agencies provide?
Voluntary housing associations provide assistance for people with a housing need in many different ways. The Irish Council for Social Housing is an organisation that provides information on housing associations across Ireland that are voluntary or not for profit. Many of these housing associations provide assistance for those with difficulties with their current accommodation or who are seeking accommodation. An online search of the organisations is available at www.icsh.ie.
I cannot meet my mortgage repayments – can I apply for social housing?
Yes, since 2011 the rules changed so that if you cannot meet mortgage repayments, this will be taken into consideration by the local authority when they are assessing your housing need. Information on the mortgage-to-rent scheme is available here.
I want to apply for social housing from my local authority, who do I contact?
You can find your local authority’s details on the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) website here.
My local authority is threatening to evict me, what should I do?
A local authority can evict you by law only if they follow the correct procedures. Under the Housing Act 2014, a local authority cannot evict you unless the District Court feels it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances. The new Act also introduces a “tenancy warning” system, where a local authority will write to the tenant if they feel they are in breach of their tenancy agreement i.e. for anti-social behaviour or rent arrears. A tenant is entitled to an independent review of a decision to grant a tenancy warning. Normally the local authority will not attempt to evict you unless you breach an earlier tenancy warning. However, in cases of severe anti-social behaviour an authority may proceed straight to eviction. The eviction process is complicated and you should seek independent legal advice. You should contact your local Citizens Information Centre who may assist you.
Sometimes people might live in local authority housing but not be an official tenant. For example, if a person lives with a partner or family member but is not declared on the property rent. People in this situation are in a precarious position and may not be able to avail of eviction protections under the Housing Act 2014, or other processes such as succession. If you think you are in this situation, it is important to get advice immediately.