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Applying for Social Housing Support

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

  • Housing support can be provided in a variety of ways:
  • Rented tenancies in Westmeath County Council owned properties.
  • Sourcing social housing properties from the private sector through schemes such as the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) or Long-Term Leasing (LTL) scheme or Leasing (Short or Long term).
  • Providing Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to assist in the payment of rent.
  • Nominations to accommodation provided by approved housing bodies (AHBs). Approved housing bodies are independent, non-profit making organisations that provide rented housing on a similar basis to the Westmeath County Council.
  • Provision of specific accommodation for homeless people, older people and Travellers.

Qualifying Criteria

In assessing your eligibility and housing need, 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.

The rules for the assessment are set out in national legislation and in Westmeath County Council’s Housing Allocation Scheme - Adopted June 2022

Criteria for eligibility for social housing support include: 

  • Need - You must be in genuine need of housing and be unable to provide accommodation from your own resources.
  • Right - Right to live in Ireland. You must have a legal right to remain in the State on a long-term basis.
  • Age - You must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Income - Your net income must be below the thresholds list below:
Number of personsMaximum net income
Single Adult €35,000
2 Adults No Children €36,750
1 Adult 1 Child €35,875
1 Adult 2 Children €36,750
2 Adults 1 Child €37,625
2 Adults 2 Children €38,500
2 Adults 3 Children €39,375
2 Adults 4 or more Children €40,250
3 Adults 4 or more Children €42,000

The determination of whether an applicant household meets the income criteria will be based on a calculation of their preceding 12 months net income prior to the date of receipt of the application. Household income must be less than the income thresholds applicable to the household size.

  • Local Connection - In general, you must already be living in Westmeath or have a local connection with the area.

Local Connection Means:

– A household member has resided for a continuous five-year period at any time in the area concerned; or

– The place of employment of any household member is in the area concerned or is located within 15 kilometres of the area; or

– A household member is in full-time education in any university, college, school or other educational establishment in the area concerned; or

– A household member with an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment is attending an educational or medical establishment in the area concerned that has facilities or services specifically related to such impairment; or

– A relative of a household member lives in the area concerned and has lived there for a minimum period of two years

(a relative in this instance means – a parent, adult child or sibling, and may include another relative such as a step-parent, grandparent, grandchild, aunt or uncle, who has a close link with the household member in the form of commitment or dependence).

How to Apply

Note: you can only apply for housing support from one local authority.

  • Social Housing Application Form 2024 can be submitted at your nearest local authority office or by post. Contact details below.
  • Only fully completed applications with all supporting documentation will be accepted for processing. Please ensure to read the “checklist for applicants” carefully on the application form to ensure all relevant documentation is submitted. Please do not send in original documents.
  • Applications submitted with missing or incomplete information will cause a delay in their processing or may be returned.
  • In addition, a HMD Form 1 Disability and Medical Information Form must be completed for anyone who is applying for social housing due to a disability or on medical grounds. The information provided will be used to assess if priority status should be awarded to an application. Please note, an Occupational Therapist Report must be submitted in respect of a specific accommodation requirement.

What Happens Next 

  • Once a valid application is submitted, it is processed, and an assessment is carried out. This can take up to 12 weeks.
  • A decision is issued in writing to confirm approval/refusal of an application for social housing support.
  • If you meet the criteria of the scheme, you are placed on the Council’s housing waiting list. As dwellings become available for letting, they are allocated from the waiting list in accordance with the Council's Housing Allocation Scheme and taking account of all the relevant circumstances. All applicants included on the social housing list must notify and provide supporting verification of any change of address, household income, contact details etc. to the local authority.
  • If you do not meet the criteria for social housing support the Council will inform you and explain the reasons for their decision.

Contact Details

Housing Section

Westmeath County Council

Áras an Chontae

Mount Street


Co. Westmeath

N91 FH4N

Housing Section

Westmeath County Council

Civic Offices

Church Street


Co. Westmeath

N37 P2T5

Tel: 044 93 32119 Tel: 090 64 42185
Email: housing@westmeathcoco.ie  Email: housing@westmeathcoco.ie

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