What is Social Housing?

Social housing is affordable rented housing for people on low incomes. It is provided by local authorities and housing associations.

People who are eligible for social housing register on housing waiting lists that are managed by local authorities. Currently there are about 90,000 households on lists across the country; of these about 30,000 to 40,000 are living in seriously unsatisfactory housing.

Tenants of social housing pay a differential rent which is based on their income. So if their income goes up, their rent goes up, and if their income goes down their rent goes down.


  • Social housing makes up 10% of all housing in Ireland
  • Local authorities in Ireland provide a total of 107,000 social housing units
  • 500 housing associations provide 27,000 housing tenancies
  • 95% of housing associations own less than fifty units
  • Only 10 housing associations own more than 300 dwellings
  • Only two have more than 4,500 tenants