Social Housing


Social Housing is broadly defined as accommodation provided by a local authority or approved non-profit housing body for persons who are unable to provide accommodation for their own resources. This includes the provision of housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, persons with disabilities, homeless persons and young people leaving institutional care with no family accommodation.

This scheme is for those who are in need of housing and cannot afford it from their resources. In assessing your application, the Local Authority will consider such factors as household size, household income, your present accommodation (if any), the condition of that accommodation, and any special circumstances including age, disability, medical circumstances etc. Houses are allocated to applicants in order of priority, taking all circumstances into account.

Download the Housing Application Form.  You must also submit a completed hpl1-form with your application.

Notes on Completing the Application Form

All sections of the application should be completed by you.  If a section does not apply to your circumstances, please state so. Any information omitted by you may affect your application.

APPLICATION:  In the case of married couples or other joint applicants details for both should be included in Section.

OCCUPATION:  State if employed (position held, e.g. driver, etc): Unemployed, Student, Or Other (Specify).

INCOME: If employed attached Certificate of Income must be submitted together with recent P60 Tax Form OR  2 recent payslips.

If unemployed attached Certificate of Amount of Benefit or Assistance from the Department of Social Welfare Officer, as appropriate, must be submitted. Please note proof of income must be supplied in respect of every member of the household.

HEALTH: If you are seeking housing on medical grounds, a Medical Certificate must be submitted.If no certificate is submitted your claim will be disregarded.

In the case of Demountable Dwellings and Single Rural Dwellings, the site must be provided by the applicant.

If assistance is required in completing the application form‌, please do not hesitate to request assistance from the Housing Department.This form should be returned to Laois County Council, Housing Department, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

Applications Questions

Where do I apply? Application forms are available at the link above or from the Housing Department, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

What happens when I apply?  When applications are received all applications are processed to ensure that all relevant information is correct.   Once a valid application is submitted, an assessment is carried out by the Social Worker in Laois County Council.

Do I qualify for housing ? If you are in need of housing and are unable to provide it from your own resources you may apply for local authority housing. In assessing your application the local authority take into account factors such as local connection to the area, household size, household income, present accommodation (if any), the condition of that accommodation and any special circumstances including age, disability, medical circumstances, etc.

What happens if I qualify? You are placed on the Council’s waiting list and, and you will be housed in accordance with the Council’s Housing Allocation Scheme.

What if I don’t qualify ? The Council will inform you and explain the reasons for their decision. The decision can be appealed to the appropriate Director of Services.

What happens if I am Homeless? If you are homeless you present to the offices of Laois County Council and your application will be processed

How long will it take before I get offered a house? Unfortunately this cannot be determined. This depends on the areas the applicant has opted for and the availability of dwellings in that area

What happens if Laois County Council offer me a dwelling I don’t want ? In accordance with the Housing Allocations Scheme, refusals of two reasonable offers of social housing over a twelve month period will result in a household being deemed to have forfeited their place on the waiting list for a period of twelve months.  This will mean the household will not be offered social housing support for the suspension period and time will not be added on during this period ‘time on list’ or any other priority determining purposes.

For more information, please see our Housing Allocation Scheme -adopted by Council on 30 May 2011.

Rents – Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pay my rent?

There are five (5) ways to pay your rent:

1) Household budget scheme: All Persons on Social Welfare paid through the Post Office can have their rent deducted through household budget deductions.

2) Standing orders. Please contact 057 64090 or kdunne@laoiscoco.ie to request a form.‌

3) Cash Office in County Hall.

4) Cheques, postal orders, money orders (no cash) through the postal system sent directly to the Cash Office

5) Through your local Revenue Collector

What if you have a change in circumstances?

If your income changes in any way, e.g. commenced/ended employment, social welfare payment increased/decreased, FIS payment, new baby, you must fill in a Rent Assessment Form . Please contact 057 64090 or kdunne@laoiscoco.ie to request a form.‌

What if I fall into arrears?

If you fall into arrears, you can contact the Rents Section in the Housing Department and make an agreement to pay your rent plus a small amount extra every week to reduce the arrears.  Please contact 057 64140 or 057 8664230 if you wish to discuss the arrears on your account.

What if I want someone to move in with me?

Before they move in, the named tenants on the tenancy agreement, plus the person who wants to move in must call in and fill in a Permission to Reside Application Form‌.  This is then sent to the Senior Social Worker who approves/rejects the application.

What if someone leaves the house?

If someone leaves the house, this is a change in circumstances and a rent assessment form must be filled in and your rent reviewed.  Please contact 057 64090 or kdunne@laoiscoco.ie to request a form.

What if I want my partner on the Tenancy Agreement?

Firstly, they need permission to reside at the premises. They will then be assessed for rent for one year. A letter must be received in the Rents Section in the Housing Department stating you want your partner on the Tenancy Agreement . If approved an appointment is made, a new Tenancy Agreement is drawn up, signed and sealed.

What if I want to leave my house?

A letter must be received into the Housing Department giving four (4) weeks notice in writing stating that you are leaving the property. On the appointed day, a Clerk of Works inspects the property. The property must be left in a clean and proper state. The customer then comes into County Hall at the appointed time and signs a “Surrender of Tenancy” form. This means that the customer then has no rights to access the property anymore.

What if I want a transfer?

A tenant of the Council may, with the consent of the Council, exchange the tenancy of his/her existing dwelling for the tenancy of another Council dwelling under the following conditions:

  1. All rents and other charges due and payable in respect of their existing accommodation have been fully discharged.
  2. The tenants have complied with all the conditions of the Letting Agreement.
  3. In the opinion of the Council, the exchange must result in either tenant being appropriately accommodated
  4. The tenants must not have engaged in any anti-social behaviour in the previous three years.
  5. The tenants must have resided in their current dwelling for at least five years.

The Council may, in exceptional circumstances, waive compliance with any or all of the above conditions.  The Council reserves the right to refuse any transfer request due to financial constraints.