Help with Housing

You have the right to live in safety and to feel secure in your own home.  Women’s Aid can provide you with information and support on housing whether your own home, are a local authority tenant, a private tenant or you are currently homeless. We can also advocate and make referrals to agencies related to housing on your behalf. 

Housing options and domestic abuse

A refuge is a form of emergency accommodation for women and children. The majority of refuges offer services such as crisis accommodation, confidential helplines, Court accompaniment, support and information for women who have experienced violence. 

Women usually go to a refuge when they feel unsafe at home. If you have children, you can take them with you to the refuge. Refuges are generally open 24 hours a day. There are 21 refuges across Ireland.

All refuges are run independently and have different policies, procedures, levels of security and staffing. While we can ring a refuge on behalf of a woman, the refuge staff will always need to speak with you directly before offering you space.

For a list of refuges, click here.

Supported transitional housing is a step between emergency refuge accommodation and permanent housing. Supported transitional housing is usually more long-term than refuge and women can still access other services.  For more information visit the Sonas website. 

Rent Supplement is a means-tested payment for certain people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources.

It is a short-term income support for people in the private rented sector. 

Anyone affected by domestic abuse can get immediate access to rent supplement for a three-month period to ensure that they are not prevented from leaving their home because of financial concerns.  The usual rent supplement means-test will not apply for this three-month period.  You will only be required to pay a minimum contribution towards your rent, regardless of your means, for this period.

After the first three months have passed, you may be provided with a further three-month extension of the rent supplement; however, this will be subject to the usual means assessment and eligibility criteria of the scheme.

If you have a long-term housing need beyond this six-month period, you will need to apply to your local housing authority for social housing support as soon as possible. If eligible, you will be able to avail of a local authority sponsored housing solution, including Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP). Rent support is provided under this protocol allowing you to resolve your immediate housing difficulties, and where necessary providing you with the time to engage with your local authority.  

More information on applying for rent supplement on 

Social housing support is housing provided by a local authority or an approved housing body to people who are assessed as unable to afford housing.  Local authorities are the main providers of social housing support in Ireland and are, in fact, the biggest landlord in the State. The main purpose of the Housing Services Department in local authorities is to facilitate the provision of suitable, cost effective, quality accommodation and housing support for people who need it

More information on Social Housing Support on the Housing Agency website 

If a couple are married, neither person can sell the family home without the written consent of the other spouse regardless of whose name is on the deeds of the house.  If you have a 50% or more share in your property, some housing options may be limited.

Laws about property and housing options can be complex, so it is best to talk to a solicitor, a domestic violence or housing support organisation about your situation.

Further information and support available from: