Applying for local authority/social housing (2023)

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  • introduce
  • How do I qualify for social housing support?
  • How do I apply?
  • What happens next with my social housing application?


Local authorities are the main providers of social housing for those who cannot afford to buy a home or rent it privately. Local authority housing is allocated on the basis of eligibility and need. Rent depends on the family's ability to pay.

Approved Housing Body (AHB)Social housing is also provided for those who cannot afford to purchase their own housing. These organizations are sometimes called housing associations or housing cooperatives.

Social Housing Assessment OrdinanceSets out how housing authorities should manage applications for social housing. They include many important elements such as:

  • You can only apply to one housing authority
  • Generally, you must already live in an area covered by the housing authority or havelocal connectionwith the district – although housing authorities may agree to waive this requirement
  • You will only be considered for social housing if your household income is below the applicable threshold in the Housing Authority's area
  • If your current mortgage is not sustainable, this will be taken into account when assessing your family's social housing needs - see 'Needs' below.

How do I qualify for social housing support?

To be eligible, you must bequalifiedFor social housing you mustneedPublic housing.

  • The Housing Authority will first assess your eligibility
  • It will assess your need for social housing if you are eligible

If you are a foreign national, you must have the legal right to remain in the state permanently. Detailed rules for accessing social housing support for non-Irish nationals are set out atRound houses 41/2012.

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To be considered eligible for social housing, you must meet income criteria.

You must also demonstrate that you do not have suitable alternative accommodation.

income standard

thisFamily Means PolicyDetails how the local authority assesses your household income for social housing support. It includes information on which income is taken into account and which is ignored (not taken into account). For example, these assessments do not take into account certain social welfare payments.

There are 3 maximum income limits that apply to different housing authorities. January 1, 2023,Basic income limit increased by €5,000Suitable for all local authority areas.

Basic maximum income limit per region

fieldMaximum Net Income Limits for Singles
Cork City, Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Russdown, Fingal, Galway City, Comis, South Dublin, Cokildare, Cowicklow40,000 euros
Co Carlow, Co Clare, Co Cork, Co Galway, Co Kerry, Co Kilkenny, Co Laois, Limerick city and county, Co Louth, Waterford city and county, Co Westmeath, Co Wexford35,000 euros
Co Cavan、Co Donegal、Co Leitrim、Co Longford、Co Mayo、Co Monaghan、Co Offaly、Co Roscommon、Co Sligo、Co Tipperary30,000 euros

These are the maximum net income limits for a person. These limits increase if there are other members of your household. you get an extra:

  • 5% of the basic maximum income limit for each adult household member. Up to 10% or 2 additional adults.
  • 2.5% of the basic maximum income limit for each child in the family

When the local authority assesses whether your household meets the income criteria, it will look at your household's average net income in the 12 months before receiving your application. Net income is the amount you are left with after deducting income tax, universal social tax, additional superannuation contributions (ASC) and PRSI from your income.

The department is also providing guidance notes to local authorities with more details on assessing income for social housing support. Savings, for example, are only relevant to the income assessment if they generate income for the applicant through dividends or interest. If you are looking for information about any of your income and it is not covered by the household income policy, you should contact your local authority.

proof of income

When applying for social housing, you will need to provide proof of income with your application. The documents you need vary depending on whether you are employed, self-employed or receiving social security payments.

If you are receiving social security payments, you will need a statement from the Department of Social Protection detailing all social benefits you have paid in the past 12 months.

if you are self employed, you will need to provide at least 2 years of accounts and audit reports, and the previous 12 months' notice of assessment and/or confirmation of self-assessment.

if you have a job, you will need to provide proof of your income for the past 12 months. You can use the following documents to demonstrate your household income for the last year and your household's current income:

(Video) How to apply for Social Housing

  • Proof of last year's income:Last year's Statement of Responsibility (formerly P21) and Summary of Employment Details (formerly P60). These are all available from Revenue. you can use itEarnings Online Services My AccountAccess these documents. Please refer to our webpage to learn how to obtain yourResponsibility statementandSummary of Employment Detailsto know more information.
  • Proof of current income:Pay stub or salary and tax summary for the current tax year as of the date you apply. Salary and tax summaries are available from the Tax Office.

notes: If you payAdditional Superannuation Contribution (ASC), you must also provide your last pay stub for the previous year and your most recent pay stub. ASCs are only available to people on public service pension schemes.

If you are not registered with Revenue's myAccount, or if you have difficulty obtaining any of these documents online, you can contact your local tax office for assistance or obtain a paper copy. You can also contact yourlocal citizen information centerIf you need help obtaining these documents or completing the application form.

alternative accommodation

You are considered to have an alternative dwelling if you or a member of your household own property that you can reasonably expect to use for your housing needs. The property is considered alternative accommodation if you can live in it or sell it and use the money to pay for suitable accommodation. Alternative property includes property that you own abroad, or that you rent out. Under residential tenancy legislation, you canterminate the leaseIf your family needs this property to live in.

A property will not be considered an alternative accommodation if it:

  • Occupied by a person who is divorced or separated* from a family member, or whose civil partnership has been dissolved
  • It will be crowded if a family lives in it
  • unfit for human habitation
  • Inability to adequately accommodate accommodation requests for disabled family members

* A couple is not necessarilyjudicial separationFor this apply. A deed of separation is enough - see our documentsseverance agreement.


When deciding whether your family needs social housing, the Housing Authority must consider:

  • Is your current residence an institutional, emergency or guest house?
  • are you homelessSection 2 of the Housing Act 1988
  • Is your current accommodation crowded?
  • Is it suitable for human habitation?
  • Does it meet accommodation requirements for disabled family members?
  • Is it inappropriate housing for your family on exceptional medical or compassionate grounds?
  • If sharing with other households, do you have a reasonable request for separate accommodation?
  • Is your home's current mortgage classified as unsustainableMortgage Arrears Resolution Program (MARP)Central bank regulations?
  • Is your family dependent onrent subsidymeet their housing needs?
  • Given the particular family circumstances, is your current accommodation unsuitable because it does not provide adequate accommodation for your family in any other way?

field of choice

You can specify up to 3 areas where you would like to live. At least one of these must be in an area administered by the Housing Authority you are applying for (itsFunctional Area) and others must be within the functional area or the same county. If you do not live within or have no connection to the Housing Authority's own remit, but the department has agreed to accept your application, you can only select areas within the remit of that particular department.

How do I apply?

To apply for local authority housing, download the application form fromyour local governmentwebsite, or contact your local government housing department and request an application form. oneEasy-to-read guide (pdf)You can also fill out the application form.

You will need to provide additional documents with your application form. For example, you'll need to include photo identification, proof of address, and proof of income. There is information on proof of income above. The application form has a checklist with details of all other documents you will need.

If you need help completing the application form, or are unsure how to answer questions or where to obtain supporting documents, you can contactyour local citizen information centeror local government for help.

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If you want to be considered for accommodationhousing associationor other approved housing agency, please check the box labeled “Approved Housing Agency (AHB)” on the application form. Some housing associations may accept direct applications.

If you are a wheelchair user or require accessible accommodation, you should check the box marked 'Wheelchair accessible accommodation' in the section of the form that asks about your housing requirements. There is also a supporting disability/medical form for people applying for social housing with medical or disability needs.

You no longer need to get a HPL1 form stamped by Revenue when completing your social housing application, as local authorities now check this information directly with Revenue on your behalf.

What happens next with my social housing application?

Local authorities have 12 weeks after receiving your completed application to assess it and decide whether you are eligible for social housing. This time frame can be extended if local authorities require additional information, which they will ask you to provide. You must submit additional information within the allotted time, or your application may be rejected.

if your application is accepted

If you are accepted by a housing authority as eligible and in need of housing, you will be placed on its housing list orEligible Resident Records.It will also notify you of any other Housing Authority that designates an elective area within its functional area.

If you rent private accommodation while you are on the housing list, you may be eligible forBack rent.if you getHousing Assistance (HAP), which is legally defined as a form of social housing support, you will no longer be on the housing list. However, if you apply to transfer from HAP to another form of social housingWithin 2 weeks of receiving a letter confirming your HAP payment, any time you spend on housing listings can be taken into account when your local authority considers your application.

Read more about social housing waiting lists and the allocation process.

If your application is not accepted

If your application is not accepted, the local authority should explain to you the reasons for its decision. If not, you can apply to see your documentsfreedom of information.

If you want to challenge a local authority's decision, you can appeal to them. Each local authority has its own internal appeals process to deal with appeals.

If you are not satisfied with the results of the internal review, you can complain to the Ombudsman. thisOffice of the OmbudsmanInvestigate complaints against local authorities and other public bodies. You must lodge a complaint within 12 months of the local authority's decision. The Ombudsman will investigate your complaint and make decisions and recommendations on the matter. They can ask local authorities to review their decisions, change their decisions or provide explanations or compensation.

You can also appeal the local authority's decision in court. Generally, this is done by applying to the High CourtJudicial review of local authority decisions.

(Video) Housing Associations & Supported Living | This Changes Everything Forever

if you let local authorities go home

Local authority rents are based on a system known as differential rents. This means that rent is set based on your ability to pay, so if your income is low, your rent will be low; if your income increases, your rent will increase. The income of any other adult members of your household will be included in the rent calculation, and the income of any children in your household may be deducted. Each local authority has its own rental scheme. touchyour local authorityDetails about their differential rent program.

Your local authority may have minimum and/or maximum rents, which may depend on the size of your home. There is also a hardship clause that allows local authorities to reduce rents at their discretion if there are exceptional reasons.

If your income or that of anyone in your household changes, you must notify the local authority so it can recalculate your rent.

Local authority housing is unfurnished. If you are granted local authority accommodation but you do not have and cannot afford to buy furniture or appliances, you may be eligible forHelp under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.

Page editor:January 3, 2023

Related documents

  • Rent arrears on local authority housing

    What to do if you are a local authority tenant who is behind on rent.

  • Improvement works in lieu of local authority housing schemes

    Local authorities can improve or extend privately owned homes as an alternative to providing local authority housing.

  • How to support or oppose a local authority planning application

    Anyone can support or oppose a planning application by a local authority. Learn how to commit or observe.

contact us

If you have questions on this topic, you can contact the Citizens Information Telephone Service0818 07 4000(Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

(Video) Automatic Priority Need - most housing professionals DON'T KNOW this

You can also contact your localCitizen Information Center.


Applying for local authority/social housing? ›

How do I apply? To apply for local authority housing, download an application form from your local authority's website, or contact your local authority's housing department and ask for an application form. An Easy to Read Guide (pdf) to filling in the application form is also available.

How does local authority housing work? ›

Local authority housing (or council housing) is housing you can live in that is owned by your local authority. You have to apply for local authority housing.. Your Council will assess your needs and decide if you are high priority.

What is the most Section 8 will pay? ›

The maximum housing assistance is generally the lesser of the payment standard minus 30% of the family's monthly adjusted income or the gross rent for the unit minus 30% of monthly adjusted income.

What is the difference between local authority and housing association? ›

Both councils and housing associations provide a form of social housing. The main difference is that council housing is provided directly by the local government, while housing associations are private, not-for-profit companies.

How to apply for housing authority in Charlotte NC? ›

Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)

To apply for either type of help, visit your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). Some PHAs have long waiting lists, so you may want to apply at more than one PHA. Your PHA can also give you a list of locations at which your voucher can be used.

What does it mean to be rented in the local authority? ›

Local authorities charge their tenants reasonable rents to ensure that similar rents are paid for similar properties and periodically review rent levels.

What is a local authority housing estate? ›

Local authorities are the main providers of social housing for people who cannot afford to buy a home or rent accommodation privately. Local authority housing is allocated according to eligibility and need. Rents are based on the household's ability to pay.

How much is a 2 bedroom Section 8 voucher in NYC? ›

Bedroom SizePayment Standard ($)
5 more rows

How much does Section 8 pay for a 2 bedroom in Florida? ›

Effective October 1, 2022
Zip CodeEfficiencyTwo Bedroom
55 more rows

How much is a 2 bedroom Section 8 voucher in California? ›

Voucher Payment Standards
Bedroom SizePayment Standard
3 more rows

What are the two types of local authority? ›

In total there are 317 local authorities in England made up of 5 different types: county councils. district councils. unitary authorities.

What is the standard method housing need by local authority? ›

The standard method may identify a minimum local housing need figure that is significantly higher than the number of homes currently being planned for. The cap is applied to help ensure that the minimum local housing need figure calculated using the standard method is as deliverable as possible.

Who governs local housing authority? ›

For one thing, housing authorities are independent agencies governed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, not the local or even state government.

How do you qualify for public housing in NC? ›

Eligibility is determined by your local public housing agency. Your family's income must be 50% or less of the median income for your county. Public housing agencies are required to distribute 75% of vouchers to applicants whose income is less than 30% of the median county income.

How long is the waiting list for Section 8 in Charlotte NC? ›

The waiting list for a Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher is 4-7 years long.

What is considered low income in NC? ›

In this case, low-income means less than 30% of the state median income. Based on the latest information available, the median income for a family of four in North Carolina is $72,830. That means the eligibility cut-off is around $21,800.

How is local authority rent calculated? ›

Council Housing rents are based on a system called 'differential rents'. This means that the amount of rent you pay depends on the amount of your total household income. If your income increases so does your rent, and if your income decreases, the weekly rent decreases accordingly.

Do landlords need to register with local authority? ›

This demands that you provide the local authority with accurate and up-to-date details about yourself and the property or properties you intend to rent out. This registration process can be completed online but must be done by the landlord themselves, not an agent or another third party.

What is the difference between rent and OER? ›

Owners' equivalent rent (OER) is the amount of rent that would have to be paid in order to substitute a currently owned house as a rental property. This value is also referred to as the rental equivalent.

What powers do local authorities have in housing? ›

Local authorities have powers, under the Housing Act 2004, to calculate the seriousness of certain hazards and take enforcement action against building owners or landlords based on their assessment.

What is property local authority? ›

A Local Authority Search is a query into the local area and land where the property you are hoping to buy resides. This is a vital part of the conveyancing process and will be required by your lender if you are buying a house with a mortgage.

What is a local authority flat? ›

A council house (also 'corporation house') or council flat is a form of British public housing built by local authorities. A council estate is a building complex containing a number of council houses and other amenities like schools and shops.

How long is the waiting list for Section 8 in New York? ›

There is no estimated wait time for how long it will take for selected applicants to be offered a voucher. Wait times vary depending on a combination of factors, including your place on the list, established preferences, your income, and voucher availability.

How long does it take to get Section 8 in New York? ›

1-O, New York, NY 10038, Attn: Section 8 Portability Unit. Once you have completed the Portability Request form, HPD will conduct a review to determine if you are eligible to move. The process can take up to 14 calendar days.

Can a landlord refuse Section 8 in New York City? ›

The Law. It is illegal to be denied a housing opportunity because of a lawful source of income. Lawful source of income includes income from Social Security, or any form of federal, state, or local public assistance or housing assistance including Section 8 vouchers.

Can a landlord refuse Section 8 in Florida? ›

While the law protects people who have Section 8 vouchers, it simply means that they can't be turned away solely because they have Section 8 vouchers. Landlords may still apply neutral and non-discriminatory screening criteria to all tenants, including tenants who propose to pay rent using Section 8 vouchers.

How do I transfer my Section 8 from NY to Florida? ›

NYCHA Housing Choice Voucher Holders who wish to transfer or “port” their Section 8 vouchers to a location outside of New York City can submit their port out transfer request via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal or call the NYCHA Customer Contact Center (CCC) at 718-707-7771.

How much is a 3 bedroom Section 8 voucher in Orlando Florida? ›

Payment Standards for Vouchers
Bedroom SizePayment Standards
3 more rows

How much is a 2 bedroom voucher in Vegas? ›

The exact dollar amount will vary depending on your income, your family size, and the fair market rent in your area. How much is a 2 bedroom Section 8 voucher in Las Vegas? A 2-bedroom Section 8 voucher in Las Vegas will typically pay a maximum amount between $1,094 and $1,338. Do I have to accept Section 8 in Nevada?

How much does Section 8 pay in Florida? ›

In Florida, the maximum Section 8 payment varies depending on the location and size of the unit. For example, in Miami-Dade County, the maximum payment for a one-bedroom unit is $1,379, while the maximum payment for a four-bedroom unit is $2,513.

Can I use my Section 8 voucher to buy a house in California? ›

Though Section 8 Housing is designed to provide rental assistance, qualifying participants can also use the funds to purchase a home.

What is an example of local authority? ›

a County Council. a District Council. a London Borough Council. the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a Local Authority.

What are 2 services provided by local authorities? ›

Local authorities have a number of important functions.
  • Housing. Local authorities are the main providers of social housing for people who cannot afford their own accommodation. ...
  • Planning. ...
  • Roads. ...
  • Fire services. ...
  • Libraries, recreation services and amenities. ...
  • Environmental protection and animal control. ...
  • Register of electors.
Nov 3, 2022

What are local authorities examples? ›

Types of Local Governments
  • Municipalities. Cities, towns and villages are known as municipalities and are represented by a council, elected by residents. ...
  • Regional Municipalities. ...
  • Rural Communities (RC) ...
  • Local Service Districts (LSD)

What is a local housing need? ›

What does local need mean? A Local Housing Need must be demonstrated by persons seeking to build a house in rural areas. They must meet a certain set of criteria listed by the Local Authorities to establish a housing need on the site.

What are the local authority targets for housing for all? ›

'Housing for All' contains the following supply targets: 33,000 new units, on average, per annum up to and including 2030. This will include, on average, 10,000 social housing units, 4,000 homes for Affordable Purchase, 2,000 Cost Rental homes and 17,000 private homes.

Where is the most public housing located? ›

With more than 180,000 public housing units, the New York City Housing Authority is by far the nation's largest public housing authority (PHA).

What is a HUD mortgage? ›

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) administers mortgage insurance programs that help low- and moderate-income families become homeowners by lowering some of the initial costs of their mortgage loans.

Is Section 8 managed by local government agencies? ›

Section 8 housing vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies (PHAs), who receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The local PHA determines the amount of housing assistance a participating family receives and pays the landlord directly on behalf of the family.

What counties in NC are accepting Section 8 applications? ›

Service Area

The program's service areas include the counties of Columbus, Granville, Halifax, Hoke, Person, Sampson and Warren. If you live in these counties, then you may contact us at 984-236-0160. If you do not live in these counties, then you may visit HUD's website to locate your local housing authority.

Is it illegal to not accept Section 8 in NC? ›

Source of Income protections seek to identify lawful source of income as a protected class under the fair housing laws. This makes it a fair housing violation if you refuse to accept a form of legal income.

How much is a 3 bedroom Section 8 voucher in North Carolina? ›

HPHA's current payment standards are as follows:

1 Bedroom - $966. 2 Bedroom - $1,091. 3 Bedroom - $1,406.

How much does Section 8 pay in NC? ›

The most that HUD will pay for rent is generally the lesser of the payment standard minus 30% of your monthly adjusted income or gross rent for the unit minus 30% of your monthly adjusted income. A PHA representative will help you calculate the maximum amount of assistance that is available to you.

How much is a three bedroom voucher in North Carolina? ›

Number of Person(s) in HHVoucher SizeFair Market Rent
HH & 1-2 children, other2 Bedroom$1412
HH & 3-4 children, other3 Bedroom$1733
HH & 5-6 children, other4 Bedroom$2293
HH & 7-8 children, other5 Bedroom$2637
3 more rows
Jan 31, 2023

What is the income limit for food stamps in North Carolina? ›

Maximum Monthly Income and Allotment Table
5 more rows

What is a livable wage in North Carolina? ›

Living Wage Calculation for North Carolina
0 Children1 Child
Living Wage$16.83$19.81
Poverty Wage$6.53$5.54
Minimum Wage$7.25$7.25

What is the poverty line in NC for a single person? ›

By the numbers: The latest five-year figures from the 2016-2020 American Community Survey reveal 14% of North Carolina residents earned incomes below the federal poverty line ($12,760 for a single person in 2020).

How does public housing work in PA? ›

Public housing is housing owned and run by a government body such as a local Housing Authority. To be eligible to live in public housing, you must have low income and meet certain other requirements. Your rent and utilities are generally lower than in private housing.

What is local public housing? ›

Public Housing. What is Public Housing? Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single-family houses to high rise apartments for elderly families.

What does the local authority provide? ›

Local government is responsible for a range of vital services for people and businesses in defined areas. Among them are well known functions such as social care, schools, housing and planning and waste collection, but also lesser known ones such as licensing, business support, registrar services and pest control.

What is the most common form of housing? ›

Single-Family Home

A single-family home is a detached building built on a lot. They are the most common type of house; around 70 percent of Americans live in a single-family home.

How long is the waiting list for public housing in PA? ›

Two year waiting list for public housing. Administers the Section 8 program. Eligibility is determined by income and family size.

Who qualifies for housing assistance in Pennsylvania? ›

Only those with a real need for housing assistance will be eligible. Assistance in Pennsylvania is primarily given to low-income families, elderly individuals and the disabled. Eligibility is largely based on household income. The Pennsylvania Section 8 income limits are updated annually using information from HUD.

What's considered low income in PA? ›

For example, a single person living alone cannot make more than $27,180 and a family of four cannot make more than $55,500.


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