In the months before lockdown there was a small flurry of protests in West Dublin motivated by what was perceived to be the privileging of non-nationals on the public housing list. In the working class community of Mulhuddart, residents put a brief kibosh on the construction of public housing, citing the preponderance of foreigners on the housing list, locals being leapfrogged, and a resulting logjam of applicants.

With a commitment by the State to expedite asylum applicants onto the housing list with a promise of ‘own door’ accommodation within 6 months of their arrival there is a greater focus on the impact migration is playing on housing. A complex process made worse by the opaqueness of county councils to keep figures hidden, The Burkean under Freedom of Information requests looks at figures provided to us by all 4 Dublin county councils.

Dublin City Council-32% Foreign Born

According to figures provided to us 4,703 (32%) out of 14,672 individuals on the Dublin City Council housing list were born outside the island of Ireland. In addition to this 3,749 (25.5%) of those on the list were without citizenship at all. While not keeping figures on the number of houses given to non-nationals per year the council has either constructed or acquired 2,000 properties since 2015.

South Dublin County Council-35% Foreign Born

Of the 6,748 applicants on the South Dublin housing list a total of 2,366 (35%) are born outside the Republic of Ireland according to figures obtained by means of Freedom of Information. Among those listed 1,779 (26.4%) individuals on the housing list are without Irish citizenship.

Unlike other councils South Dublin was able to give us a breakdown of the nationalities applying for public housing. The following list are the leading nationalities on the list per the figures supplied to us.

NationalityNumber of Applicants
Congolese 75

Alongside figures on non-nationals on the waiting list, the council provided us with a numerical breakdown of the housing built by the council since 2014, totalling 365, with no units being constructed 4 out of the last 7 years.

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council 22%-35% Foreign Born

With 4,157 individuals on the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown housing list a total of 1,473 (35.4%) came from or partially from non-nationals, with 553 (13.3%) applicants coming from so called ‘mixed’ applicants. Per the definition of the local housing authority the definition of ‘mixed’ is given as ‘a combination of any of the categories. For example EU and Irish, EU and Non EU, Irish and Non EU’

Since 2014 a total of 243 units had been constructed by the council with the following a breakdown of allocations made per year to non-nationals.

Fingal County Council-50% but unknown After 2011

Despite numerous attempts, it appears that Fingal County Council has stopped keeping figures on non-nationals on the housing list since around 2011. The only council to refuse our request on the grounds of allegedly not keeping figures the closest we could track down was a council report from 2011 stating that 4,108 (50%) of the 8,144 applicants were foreign born residents with 2,362 (29%) coming from non-EU nationals. The council was able to supply figures showing they had built 293 units of housing since 2014.

It would be blinkered to assign sole blame to the present housing crisis to the role of migration ignoring the paucity of public builds overall. However combined with these structural deficiencies, migration plays an ever increasing part in worsening the domestic situation, and that is before one takes into consideration the recent White Paper on asylum which stands to add fuel to the fire. Dublin like the rest of the country cannot cope with the current demographic swelling by means of mass immigration, and at a minimum citizens and those local to a community deserve preference when it comes to the issuing of public housing.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan


  1. They Irish are second class citizens in their own country. It kills me to see my taxes spend on economic migrants


  2. David Stout 29/04/2021 at 8:57 pm

    FG/FF s want a million extra people from poor countries to come into the country but create a housing crisis to house them and if you try to pour this out you’re a racist according to the left wing mob ..


  3. And here’s me an Irishman waiting 14 years to be housed what a fecking joke this is


    1. Why have you been on the housing list for 14 years? Is there not any path you could have pursued in the intervening 14 years to facilitate you standing on your own two feet, rather than waiting around for the state to provide for you?


      1. Naomi Lyons Sweeney 05/05/2021 at 11:43 am

        Your response shows how out of touch with reality you are, that is, the reality of thousands of people, like myself, who work, are educated, have professional degrees, and still cannot afford to get their foot on the property ladder and would be condemned to further poverty and hardship if forced to pay current market rate rents. In addition, the other main problem with the housing market is lack of security of tenure. If you have ever lived in insecure accommodation, you would know the profound psychological affects this can have on a person. I stand on my own two feet, but I do so in a country of inequalities


  4. @Tom, I agree but what about economic migrants that pay >2k a month in rent, you are not complaining on those, which are probably a big majority./


  5. Dublin housing costs have increased by a multiple of seven, post 1991. Have wages risen by a similar amount ?
    No wonder, half a million kidults are living with their parents. Paying 3 grand a month to rent a 4 bed house, valued at € 600,000 is the norm, in the capital,


  6. What about ancestral Irish born abroad? For example myself (by Ancestry DNA 40% pure Irish (from Tullamore) & the rest split British & Breton) who was born in Canada when my parents were working there for a couple of years. I can sympathise with foreigners who have already paid large amounts of tax in Ireland, but very few of those will be on a housing list!


  7. It’s people like those couples working, renting and saving for a house, never having enough savings or income to keep up with property price rises, these are the people who should be helped. This idea of housing immigrants is outrageous.


  8. Julie A.M Cooney 04/05/2021 at 10:18 am

    Housing immigrants is fine provided it is not done at the expense of native Irish. There should be a hierarchy of priority with Irish (local to community) first preference according to length on housing list; 2nd preference to those who are Irish native, 3rd preference to mixed Irish & EU and 4th mixed EU & EU and then outside of that according to application date and need. There should be some emergency accommodation in every Council area and the council should speed up their on-going building programme in all areas.


  9. Sounds like we have a few great ideas on how to fix socialism.

    Meanwhile, if X% of houses are social houses, then the rest is X% more expensive because there is less supply. They are more expensive for everybody.

    And then who gets what does not make any sense. What is the point of leaving in the city centre if the woman is with kids and the man is a truck driver. And of course she is cheating and declaring herself as a lonely mother.

    I just do not get how dumb one has to be to think that it is best if politicians are be responsible for building houses.
    If you allow them to run grocery stores we will starve again.


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