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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Rights Housing Champions

Housing Rights, with support from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, have developed a programme aimed to enhance the housing advice service provided to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Northern Ireland through a peer project.  The Housing Champions project long-term goals are to equip BME communities with the information they need to make informed and appropriate housing decisions, and know how to access better quality housing.

The journey so far has seen 14 BME peer volunteers recruited from varied language backgrounds including Romanian, Arabic, Kurdish, Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Hungarian. 

Become a Housing Champion

We are now embarking on the second phase of an exciting peer learning project, starting in July 2018. The project will last for 12 months in total.

We will be recruiting 10 bilingual peer volunteers from a range of ethnic backgrounds including migrant and asylum-seeking groups, and training them to become Peer Housing Champions. Each volunteer will receive accredited training in housing advice and community interpreting.  They will then complete a 12-week work placement with an organisation that provides housing advice, culminating in providing housing advice to their own communities through outreach activities.

For further information, please see the information below or contact Sonya Nelson at (028) 9024 5640 or sonya@housingrights.org.uk

Housing Champion Role Description

Housing Champion Selection Criteria

Housing Champion Application Form

Housing Champion Monitoring Form

List of proof of address documents

Training in housing advice and interpretation

Peer volunteers receive accredited training in housing advice and interpretation to become ‘Housing Champions’.  

Work Placements

Following training, Housing Champions undertake up to 16 weeks of work placement in a housing advice role.  

Gintare, on her work experience:

“I am so happy to be offered a work placement through BME Housing champions project. Everyday I feel that I am not only improving and developing a vast amount of professional skills, but it is also has been a journey of a small victories in overcoming my own personal fears and barriers. There is so much of information to learn in a housing rights sector, but learning it through work placement experience, makes it an enjoyable journey.”

Peer-led Community Outreach Sessions

The final stage for the Housing Champions is to deliver housing advice to members of their own community through outreach sessions.  The purpose of these housing sessions is to :

  • Improve accessibility for BME clients
  • Help remove any barriers to mainstream advice services
  • Empower BME communities to seek their housing rights and responsibilities by attending a session
  • BME clients will know where to seek housing advice in the future