Income threshold to qualify for social housing will be increased by €5,000 in 2023, says Taoiseach

Councils criticised in October when only five local authorities announced rise in baseline level despite amount unchanged since 2011

The upper-income threshold to qualify for social housing will be increased by €5,000 across the State from next year, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed.

There was widespread criticism in October when only five local authorities – Carlow, Clare, Galway, Laois and Westmeath – announced they were increasing the baseline income level for eligibility from €25,000 to €30,000.

All other 26 local authorities declined to do so despite the high inflation of the past year, and the fact that thresholds had not changed since 2011.

Speaking on Saturday the Taoiseach said that Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien had reviewed the thresholds and all local authorities would now increase the minimum threshold.


It means that in Dublin from 2023 single people earning under €40,000 a year will be entitled to apply for social housing, rising to €47,000 for a family with three children.

Elsewhere in the State the baseline will rise to between €30,000 and €35,000.

It comes amid a sharp spike in homelessness with a figure of 10,795 recorded for September. It was the third month in row where there were significant increases.

Mr Martin said that Mr O’Brien had signalled his intention to increase the threshold some time ago and had increased the threshold last year on foot of recommendations he received.

“This is a matter that has been subject to ongoing review,” he said. “It will enable many more people to qualify for eligibility to social housing as well as to Housing Assistance Payments,” he said.

Responding to a report that Penny Dinners in Cork were serving 1,000 meals a day to people affected by poverty compared to 300 a year ago, Mr Martin said he would like to engage with all the organisations working on the ground to ascertain the issues facing them.

“We have made very substantial interventions in terms of social welfare payments over the past two months now, and right into Christmas.”

He cited the energy credits, the extra payments of child benefit, and increases in social welfare payments that will commence from January 1st next year.

“Over €11 billion has been allocated which will get us through the winter and we will support organisations on the ground in terms of particular issues that Aries.

“We will take stock at the end of Spring in terms of the war in Ukraine and in terms of the energy situation, and the broader cost of living issue.

Asked about the loss of 140 jobs at Twitter in Dublin, he said “our hearts go out to (the employees) at Christmas, the fact that they are losing the jobs”.

He criticised the manner in which it had been communicated to them by Twitter and said it was unacceptable.

“People need to be treated with dignity and respect and it has not happened in the Twitter announcements. It has been a frenzy. It has been very uncertain for employees. It’s been very sudden and they have been treated in an unacceptable way.

“There is a better way to work through these issues.”

He said that 165,000 people working in the technology sector in Ireland, and 38,000 had been taken on over the last two years. He said the industry as resilient and also said that Ireland was a diversified economy.

“There is a lot of activity in the economy. But for the individual employees (who have lost their jobs) it is very difficult for them at the moment.”

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times