How Do I ?

Housing for Older People

Local authorities in Ireland are obliged to provide housing for older people on broadly the same basis as the rest of the population.
Some local authorities provide specific housing for older people or may take their specific circumstances into account when assessing need. There are some grants for housing which are particularly relevant to older people or people with disabilities.

Older people are eligible for local authority housing and local authority loans and grants in the normal way.

Some local authorities provide special accommodation for older people. This is usually communal accommodation with special security features, for example, wardens, security cameras etc. If you or your spouse is aged 60 or over and the other is 55 or over or, if you are single and aged 55 or over, you are eligible for special housing if you are otherwise entitled to priority on medical or compassionate grounds

Voluntary housing organisations provide housing on a somewhat similar basis to local authority housing and are financed to a significant extent by government.
Most of these organisations are community based organisations and have developed in order to meet a recognised special housing need within the community. A large proportion of these bodies have been set up to provide housing for older people.
These approved bodies can take a number of legal forms – incorporated bodies, trust bodies, societies. To qualify for the various grants and loans described below they must be approved by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The Irish Council for Social Housing,
has a representative and co-ordinating role in relation to non-profit and voluntary housing bodies. It provides sample tenancy agreements for its members which comply with the various statutory obligations.
The Council also provides standard form constitutions (Articles of Association and Memorandums of Association) and general assistance with the legal requirements of forming a voluntary housing organisation.

Voluntary housing organisations provide two types of housing for older people – group schemes and sheltered housing.

Voluntary housing associations have  some discretion as to who they house in accordance with their own policy but the majority of their houses are let in consultation with the local authority. It is not usual for them to apply a means test    to those to whom they let houses in accordance with their own policy. Tenants in sheltered housing pay rent and they may qualify for rent supplements.

For more information, please go to:

21 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7
Tel: 01 678 6096
Fax: 01 677 2407
website: Email:

Irish Council for Social Housing
50 Merrion Square East, Dublin
Tel: 01 661 8334
 Fax: 01 661 0320
website:   Email:

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Housing Grants Section, Government Offices, Mayo