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Overview: If you face losing your home

If you are faced with losing your home, whether through repossession, end of a tenancy or other circumstances, you will need to act quickly. You may simply need to find somewhere to live, or you may need extra help and support to stay in your home.

If you are in mortgage arrears and in danger of losing your home, you can contact MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, which is a one-stop-shop for mortgage debt advice and referral.

A series of measures to support people in mortgage arrears has enhanced the role of MABS, to include a Dedicated Mortgage Arrears service and a court mentor service for people faced with repossession. In addition, MABS is centrally involved in a new aid and advice scheme for people in serious mortgage arrears, as part of Abhaile, the national Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service.

The MABS helpline 0761 07 2000 is open from 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. MABS also operates a nationwide network of centres, staffed by specialist money advisers, as well as an email service helpline@mabs.ie.

Find more information in our For homeowners section.

Supports to keep you in your rented home

If you are a private tenant, are getting Rent Supplement and are at risk of losing your home due to a proposed rent increase, there is support available. Contact your local office that administers the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme, which includes Rent Supplement, as soon as possible.

Threshold's Tenancy Protection Service is available for private tenants whose tenancy is at risk. This service can refer tenants to the Department of Social Protection for review of their Rent Supplement where appropriate. This service operates in:

  • Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow
  • The Cork city area
  • Galway, Mayo and Roscommon

Applying for local authority housing

You can apply to the Housing Department of your local authority (county or city council). The authority will assess your circumstances and may allocate you somewhere to live, based on their assessment of your need. If you get a home from a local authority you will pay a differential rent, which will be based on your ability to pay.

Housing associations

As part of your application for local authority housing, you can opt to be considered for housing by a housing association or a housing co-operative. These are organisations that provide social housing for people who cannot afford to buy their own homes. Like the local authority, they will assess your circumstances and may offer you somewhere to live, based on their assessment of your need. Again, the rent will be calculated on the basis of your ability to pay.

Renting a home

If you find somewhere to rent from a private landlord, you may qualify for a Rent Supplement to help with the rent. There are several qualifying conditions. For example, you need to have been already renting for at least 6 months, or be on a local authority housing list, or have moved from accommodation for homeless people. You will only be able to claim tax relief on your rent if you were already renting on 7 December 2010.

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is being introduced to eventually replace long-term Rent Supplement. The scheme is only available in certain areas at present. In the Dublin region, it is available to all homeless households. People who are getting HAP may take up full-time employment, subject to the conditions of the HAP scheme.

Emergency or temporary accommodation

If you cannot find anywhere to live straight away, you can apply for emergency or temporary accommodation until you get something more permanent. Our document on housing and other supports for homeless people describes the various supports that are available. There are many organisations offering such support.

You may wish to contact your local Citizens Information Centre for information and advice, phone the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, or log on to the Citizens Information website.

You can also contact Threshold, which provides an independent advisory and advocacy service on housing matters.

If you have lost your home due to problem debt or arrears, you may wish to contact MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, which can help you to manage your debts, deal with your creditors and plan a weekly budget. The MABS Helpline 0761 07 2000 is open from 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email helpline@mabs.ie or make an appointment to meet a money adviser in person in one of the nationwide network of MABS offices.

Page edited: 3 October 2016