Section 20 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 dealing with social housing support, and the related Social Housing Assessment Regulations, 2011, were commenced on 1 April 2011. These provide a standard procedure for assessing applicants for social housing.
A household may apply to the housing authority for the functional area—
where it normally resides — this would include a household residing in rented accommodation, or
where it has a local connection.
The Regulations require a housing authority, in determining if a household has a local connection, to have regard to whether a household member:
lived in the area for a continuous 5 year period at any time in the past;
is employed in the area or within 15 km of the area;
is in full-time education, or attending specialist medical care in the area;
has a relative (defined in the Regulations) living in the area for 2 years or longer.
A household meeting either the residence or local connection criterion may specify up to three areas of choice in any housing authority in the county (including city) concerned. At least one of these choices must be in the functional area of the housing authority of application. Qualified households will appear on the waiting lists of each of the housing authorities in respect of which they have expressed areas of choice.
A housing authority may also decide at its discretion to consider an application for social housing support from a household that does not meet these residence or local connection criteria. In such a case, the household may express areas of choice within the functional area of that authority only.