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 or in private rented accommodation. 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 pay for private rented accommodation or 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.

To apply for social housing you must 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.

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. To qualify you must be on the local authority’s housing list – which means that you qualify for social housing support. Under HAP you must find your own private rented accommodation - the local authority will not source it for you. The local authority makes the HAP payment to your landlord on your behalf. You pay a weekly HAP rent contribution to the local authority, based on your household’s weekly income and your ability to pay.

Private rented accommodation

If you do not qualify for social housing supports, you can look for private rented accommodation, which you will have to find and pay for yourself.

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. 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: 18 July 2019