The text comprises the evaluation of relationship between the qualitative planning tools and the Irish housing policy in the pre-crisis period, during the crisis (2009-2013) and the recovery. The tools that affect housing are understood as spatial planning, including governmental regulations on densification of the development and the housing quality as well as the special tools such as the urban design. Those regulatory tools were deployed with aims to safeguard the sustainable and socially viable housing structures. The Irish case illustrates the considerable innovation in introducing new housing standards and challenges with their efficiency. This can be attributed to the lack of integration with other elements that shaped the market – financing and actions of the private market, low efficiency of planning or the lack of the scale effect for the model developments. Despite their drawbacks these tools are continuously being used, as their foundational principles are still valid.