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Q3 1998

As previously mentioned a member of the household has to answer the housing questions. Thus the following question HO is asked:


Will this person answer the housing questions now ?


2.3.1 General Questions


Is the accommodation a

1: House (including bungalow etc)
2: Apartment/Flat
3: Other

For the purposes of this question, there is no distinction between a house, bungalow etc. This distinction is made at the next question.


Is it

1: A detached house
2: A semi-detached house
3: A terraced home (one or more floors)
4: A detached bungalow
5: A semi-detached bungalow


Is it

1: A bedsitter
2: A custom-built flat/apartment (including duplex)
3: Non custom-built flat/apartment

There is no distinction made between a flat and apartment. People may describe similar accomodation to be one or other.


Is it

1: A mobile home/caravan/trailer
2: Other


How many rooms in the dwelling unit ?

Enter no. of rooms (2 digits)

The following should not be counted as rooms: kitchenette, scullery, bathroom, toilet, garage, consulting rooms, office, shop.


In what year was the dwelling constructed ?

0: Don't know
1: Before 1919
2: 1919-1940
3: 1941-1960
4: 1961-1970
5: 1971-1980
6: 1981-1985
7: 1986-1990
8: 1991-1996
9: 1997 or later

Code 0 (don't know) should be very rarely used. If the respondent is unsure, choose the code that he/she feels is most probably correct.


Is the accommodation

1: Owner-Occupied
2: Being acquired from local authority under a purchase or vested cottage scheme
3: Rented (owner not in residence)
4: Not owned by occupant(s) and rent-free
5: Not owned by occupants and rent-free to some resident(s) only

Option 5 is included mainly to cater for the circumstance whereby the dwelling is owned by a relative of one or more of the residents and rent is not paid by that/those resident(s). However rent is paid by the other resident(s).

In situations where the owner(s) is/are resident and other non-relatives are also resident and pay rent to the owner(s) option 1 should be chosen.


Are mortgage or other repayments being made in respect of the dwelling?

1 : Yes
2 : No

Loans taken out for repairs, renovations or extensions should be included under this category.

2.3.2 Housing Costs – HO9-HO15

Accommodation costs have been topical recently. There has been a lot of debate about rising house prices all over the country and it is likely that affordability of home ownership is going to remain an issue for some time. The purpose of the next set of questions is to allow affordability of home ownership to be assessed with reference to household circumstances - number of persons employed in the household, number of children present, etc. Collecting this information also allows an analysis of the potential effect on households/ families of a sudden increase in mortgage interest rates.

The recent rises in house prices have also stimulated debate about the necessity for more than one income to be available to the owners. The point has been made that house prices have risen to a level that makes owning one close to impossible for households with one average sized income. This has knock-on effects for other issues related to employment, such as barriers to persons taking up employment (availability of suitable child-care facilities etc).

It is possible that some respondents might be surprised or reluctant at being asked about mortgage payments. If this is the case you should explain briefly why the questions are being asked. However if the respondent is still not convinced and is unwilling to give the information you should not push the issue. Instead enter the answer as "non-response/refusal" (using the right square bracket on the keyboard).


You have indicated that there are loan or mortgage repayments being made in respect of the dwelling. Could you indicate how much is repaid per month ?

1: €0 - €100
2: €101 - €200
3: €201 - €300
4: €301 - €400
5: €401 - €500
6: €501 - €700
7: €701 - €900
8: €901 - €1100
9: €1101 and over

Some householders may be paying a mortgage as well as a loan for extensions, repairs etc. If this is the case, then the sum of the 2 latest monthly repayments should be entered.


In what year was the mortgage or loan taken out ?

Enter Year
4 digits


And for what period was the loan or mortgage taken out ?

Enter number of years
2 digits

For householders that are paying both a mortgage and a loan, you will need to enter a year and a period that refers to either the mortgage or the loan. You should choose the one for which the monthly repayment is the greater.


Is the dwelling rented from a Local Authority ?

1 : Yes
2 : No


Is the dwelling rented furnished or non-furnished ?

1 : Furnished
2 : Partly furnished
3 : Not furnished


You have indicated that the dwelling is rented. Please indicate the amount of rent paid in respect of the dwelling and the period covered by the rent

Enter amount to the nearest €
4 digits
9999 means 9999 or more


And that would be per

1 : Week
2 : 4 week period
3 : Calendar month

2.3.3 Problems and satisfaction with accomodation – HO16 – HO24

The responses are

1 : Yes - a serious problem
2 : Yes - a fairly serious problem
3 : Yes - a problem, but not serious
4 : No - not at all a problem

Do you have any of the following problems with your accomodation ?

HO16 Not enough space inside the home ?
HO17 Not enough access to outdoor amenities ? (garden, green areas etc.)
HO18 Is there a lack of natural light ?
HO19 Lack of adequate heating ?
HO20 Leaking roof ?
HO21 Dampness in walls or floors etc. ?
HO22 Rot in windows or floors ?
HO23 Pollution in the form of dirt or grime from industry or traffic ?


Overall, are you satisfied with your accomodation ?

1 : Very satisfied
2 : Satisfied
3 : Dissatisfied
4 : Very dissatisfied


Is there a smoke alarm fitted in the dwelling ? (or more than one)

1 : Yes
2 : No

2.3.4 Heating – HO26-HO36


Does the dwelling have a central heating system ?

1 : Yes
2 : No

A storage heater or heaters should be considered as central heating for the purposes of this question.


In winter do you use this system to heat your accommodation, water, or both?

1 : Yes
2 : No


And which type of central heating system is it ?

1 : Natural gas
2 : Oil
3 : Electric
4 : Open fire with back boiler central heating
5 : Closed solid fuel system
6 : Dual system (solid fuel + other)
7 : Other types of dual system


Asked if the dwelling does not have a central heating system or if the central heating system is not the main way used to
heat the accommodation in winter
What is the main way used to heat the dwelling in winter ?

1 : Open fire only
2 : Portable heaters only
3 : Open fire and portable heaters
4 : Closed solid fuel appliance
5 : Other


Is there a hot water storage cylinder in the dwelling ?

1 : Yes
2 : No

Most such cylinders are immersion heaters. However, there are some storage systems which are not of the immersion type.


Is the hot water storage cylinder insulated ?

1 : Yes
2 : No


Asked if the dwelling does not have a central heating system or if the central heating system is not the main way to heat
water in winter
And what is the main way used to heat water (other than for cooking) ?

1 : Immersion heater
2 : Solid fuel device (including open fire with back-boiler)
3 : Other (including electric shower)


To heat water (other than for cooking) in summer, do you generally use the central heating system ?

1 : Yes
2 : No

Some central heating systems can be set to heat water but not heat radiators. This is considered to be "using the central heating system".


To heat water in summer, do you use

1 : Immersion heater
2 : Solid fuel device (including open fire with back-boiler)
3 : Other (including electric shower)

Option 2 does not include boiling pots/pans of water over a fire or cooker - this should be coded as option 3 (other).


Asked if the main method of heating the dwelling in winter involves the use of portable heaters
Do the portable heater(s) use

1 : Electricity
2 : Bottled gas
3 : Oil


Which type of solid fuel is mainly used

1 : House (bituminous) coal
2 : Smokeless fuel only
3 : Other solid fuel (eg turf, wood)

2.3.5 Neighbourhood Characteristics – HO37-HO43

Please indicate whether you think your neighbourhood is affected by the following, and if affected to what extent.

The answers to all questions are

1 Very common
2 Fairly common
3 Not very common
4 Not at all common

HO37 Graffiti on walls or buildings ?
HO38 Rubbish or litter lying about ?
HO39 Homes and gardens in poor condition ?
HO40 Vandalism and deliberate damage to property ?
HO41 Lack of personal safety on the roads/streets ?
HO42 People under the influence of alcohol/drugs in public ?
HO43 People congregating on roads/streets after darkness ?

2.3.6 Noise – HO44-HO46


In your view, are you exposed to excessive noise nuisance at home ?

1 : Yes
2 : No

This question is not intended to cover noise emanating from inside the home that is under the control of the resident(s). Also, noise from temporary building work or road repairs are not intended, in themselves, to constitute noise nuisance.


Does this noise come from

1 : Neighbours and/or domestic animals of neighbours
2 : Industrial noise/machinery
3 : Passing traffic

If it transpires at this question that the noise referred to by the respondent is a temporary phenomenon (such as temporary building work or road repairs) you should arrow back to the previous question (HO30) and change the response to 2 (No).


To what extent are you affected by this noise ?

1 : Seriously
2 : Moderately
3 : Slightly

2.3.7 Home Computer – HO47-HO52


Is there a home computer/PC permanently in the dwelling ?

1 : Yes
2 : No

Note: Laptops brought home temporarily are not included.


Is the computer used for work purposes ?

1 : Yes
2 : No


Is it used for educational purposes ?

1 : Yes
2 : No


Is it used for leisure purposes ?

1 : Yes
2 : No


Is it used for practical tasks other than work, education or leisure ? (eg bills, letter writing etc.)

1 : Yes
2 : No


Is it used to connect to the internet ?

1 : Yes
2 : No

The purpose of the above questions is to establish the "penetration" of home computers in Irish homes. At present, there is very little information available concerning exposure of people to "information age" technology at home.