Accommodation for people granted refugee status or subsidiary protection or given permission to remain

Programme refugees

Accommodation is provided for Programme refugees when they arrive in the State. This accommodation may be in a reception centre, a bed and breakfast, a hotel, a hostel, a house, a flat or an apartment.

Convention refugees, people given subsidiary protection or permission to remain

If you have been granted international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection) or permission to remain and you have been living in a direct provision accommodation centre, you will have to leave that centre and move into other accommodation. This may be in social housing (public housing) or in private rented housing. You can now move to live in any part of the State that you wish. If you were already living in private rented accommodation, your change of status will not affect your immediate housing circumstances.

You can read more information about finding accommodation in this guide to living independently (pdf) for people who have been granted refugee status or subsidiary protection or permission to remain.

Social housing

Local authorities are the main providers of social housing for people who cannot afford to buy their own homes. Local authority housing is allocated according to eligibility and need. Rents are based on the household’s ability to pay. Housing associations and housing co-operatives also provide social housing for people who cannot afford to buy their own homes.

You should register at the office of your local authority to go on the waiting list for housing. The local authorities have a number of housing options depending on your income level and housing need.

Private rented housing

If you do not qualify for social housing or if there is a long waiting list for social housing, you should consider living in private rented accommodation, which you will have to find yourself. You may qualify for financial help with paying the rent under one of the following schemes:

  • The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is being introduced as a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. It is being administered by local authorities – see ‘Where to apply’ below.
  • If you live in a county where HAP is not yet available, a Rent Supplement may be paid by your local Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) if you do not have the means to pay for the rent yourself. When you find a house or flat to rent you should apply to the Department's representative for Rent Supplement – see 'Where to apply' below.

The Residential Tenancies Board has published a guide on being a good tenant (pdf).


If you find yourself homeless or you think you may lose your home, you should generally contact your local authority to access accommodation. In Dublin and Cork, the local authorities and the Department of Social Protection provide dedicated services for homeless people. Our document on agencies that provide services for homeless people gives details of where to apply for the various supports.

Buying a home

If you have sufficient finance and a regular income, you can apply for a mortgage to buy a house.

Where to apply

Contact your local authority.

Contact the Department’s representative.

Page edited: 6 January 2017