Voluntary housing bodies play an important role in providing rental housing throughout the country for people who could not otherwise afford to provide suitable accommodation from their own resources. The voluntary housing bodies decide on the types of housing projects/services they will provide, having regard to local needs, and are responsible for tenancy allocations in consultation with the local authorities. They are not-for-profit organisations concerned with the relief of housing needs, and, usually take the legal form of housing associations. Such bodies must be approved by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in order to qualify for financial and other aids to provide housing.
The Irish Council for Social Housing, (ICSH), 50 Merrion Square East, Dublin 2 (Website www.icsh.ie) provides information and advice on the formation and management of voluntary housing bodies.
Voluntary housing is supported by local authorities and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government under two separate schemes, as follows:-