Safe Home Ireland assists qualifying Irish-born emigrants to help them explore secure housing options and to assist in their return home, primarily to social housing schemes back in their native areas. We work in conjunction with Housing Associations who provide housing for our qualifying applicants throughout Ireland.
Our outreach team provide support to people after they have returned to live in Ireland to help people to resettle.
We appreciate that returning to Ireland is not an easy decision to make and that there are a lot of questions and issues to take into consideration.
FAQs: For detailed information on the housing assistance provided by Safe Home Ireland, please click the links below for answers to the most frequently asked questions.
If you fulfil the criteria outlined above, the first step in the process is to contact us for an application form and information pack.
Once we receive the completed paperwork from you, your application will be processed and you will be included on our waiting list. We contact you to confirm this and we will then seek additional information from you in order to begin the process of registering an application for you with the relevant Local Authority/Council here.
This is important as when Housing Associations have a vacancy, they generally must take prospective tenants from the local Council waiting list.
If you are nominated by the Council for a Housing Association vacancy, Safe Home will gather additional information on the property to send to you. Where possible, we will also compile a housing fact sheet to send to you. This fact sheet will include photographs and additional details on the scheme and the general area (Example: proximity to shops/services/transport links etc)
On receipt of the information sheet, an applicant will decide whether or not they wish to proceed with the application for housing in the particular scheme. If an applicant is interested, we will then refer their details on to the Housing Association for consideration.
Safe Home does not manage or build any properties of our own. We operate by trying to match our applicants up with existing Housing Associations throughout the country.
We recognise that one housing scheme or location is not going to suit everybody. As long as Safe Home housing applicants keep in touch with us and up-date us on their circumstances, we will continue to send on details of other vacancies as they arise.
Most Housing Associations will require applicants to travel for interview. This benefits both the Housing Association and the prospective tenant. It is a very big step to take to move to a property and an area that you have not viewed for yourself.
Note! Where people live further afield than the UK, the Housing Association may agree to telephone/skype interviews
Yes – the schemes that we work with all come under social housing guidelines. The tenancies are long-term secure options. Rents are set at an affordable level, depending on each individual tenant’s circumstances.
There is no standard design for Housing Association schemes. Some properties will be apartments (most likely in cities), some will be houses and some (in rural areas in particular) will be small bungalows.
The housing options that Safe Home has access to is housing designed specifically for older people who can live independently or with minimum support. The properties are generally small one or two bedroom units. We do not have access to larger properties or ‘family type’ housing.
Some developments will simply offer a housing option for older people with no additional supports. Others may have varying degrees of support services available: E.G. On-site managers, meals on wheels, communal laundry.
Details of Housing Association schemes on a county by county basis can be found via Irish Council for Social Housing website: www.icsh.ie/content/search-for-members
No – All of these issues are a matter for the Housing Association managing the scheme.
In our experience, Housing Associations that we deal with will generally always give priority to applicants originally from the area where the scheme is located or those with strong verifiable family connections in the locality. Therefore, applying for housing in an area where you have no links could result in a long wait.
We cannot give any indication of how long the process may take. As the prospective landlord, the final decision on who to allocate properties to lies with the Housing Association managing the scheme (in consultation with the relevant Local Authority).
All tenants, regardless of their income, must make a contribution from their own income of at least €30 per week towards their rent, for couples the minimum contribution is €40.
Generally to get assistance with rent costs in Ireland, (both in relation to social housing and in the private sector), all applicants must first apply to and be approved on the Local Authority Housing list in the area that they move to. Other conditions also apply, such as renting within set ‘caps’ for the area, means testing and residency requirements.
Additional Information: www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/supplementary_welfare_schemes/rent_supplement.html
Many Safe Home applicants have a much loved cat or dog and they could not even consider coming home without their beloved companion. Unfortunately, quite a number of the Housing Associations that we deal with operate a strict No Pets Policy.
Our advice is to check out the situation regarding the pets policy early on in the housing application process.
Note: In terms of guidelines for bringing a pet into the country, please refer to Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets/
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The housing that Safe Home has access to specifically caters to older people who can live independently. The schemes are set up with older people in mind. Housing Associations are reluctant to offer tenancies in these scheme where the joint tenant may be quite a lot younger, as in doing so, the property is likely to be ‘out of circulation’ for some considerable time.
No – Safe Home is not in a position to provide any financial assistance to help with travel or moving costs.
No – The reason we ask Safe Home applicants to complete Council application forms is that Councils have consultation rights when it comes to the allocation of Housing Association properties.
Generally speaking, to be considered for Council accommodation, applicants must be living in the catchment area of the relevant Local Authority so that a full assessment of their housing needs can be carried out by the Council. Occasionally, some Councils will make an exception to this and offer a property to a returning emigrant who is still living abroad. However, these cases are certainly exceptions to the rule.
It can be quite confusing and there is certainly a lot of ‘red tape’ involved in any application for social housing in Ireland at present. If there is anything at all that you are unclear about in relation to your Safe Home Housing Application, please do CONTACT US
For full information on social housing in Ireland: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/local_authority_and_social_housing
Safe Home can certainly advise you on the application process. However, it is through the relevant Local Authority (Not Safe Home) that any application for a housing transfer would have to be made.
Note! It can often be very difficult to get a transfer in social housing as you may be considered ‘adequately housed’. However, issues such as health problems and other specific circumstances may be taken into consideration when assessing your situation.
It certainly can be daunting but try not to panic!
A member of the Safe Home team will keep in touch with you to advise on what you need to do BEFORE you move and paperwork to bring home with you etc. They will also make arrangements to go to visit you in your new home to assist with the process of getting into ‘the system’ here.