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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Inquiry into the experiences of ethnic minority and migrant people in NI

We have used our client experience in this area to submit evidence to the inquiry. Our evidence shows the barriers people face:

  • accessing housing advice
  • accessing housing

Barriers to accessing housing advice

In 2017 & 2018 we ran a peer housing advice project for ethnic minority communities. We trained, supported and developed peer volunteers. The aim was for the volunteers to deliver housing advice within their own communities.

Our client experience from this project highlighted:

  • Awareness of rights in ethnic minority communities was low
  • A lack of trust in statutory bodies prevented some people from seeking advice from organisations

Barriers to accessing housing

Our client experience highlighted:

  • ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ stops people from getting homelessness support. It also stops people from getting a social home.
  • Language barriers mean essential information can get lost in translation. For example, from Universal Credit.
  • Language barriers and a lack of awareness of rights add to issues in the private rented sector (PRS).
  • High-costs in the PRS can be a barrier. Landlords can ask people from abroad to pay a higher deposit or several months’ rent in advance. This is usually instead of providing a guarantor.
  • There is a lack of appropriate homes to meet the housing needs of certain ethnic minority groups.
  • Racism towards ethnic minority communities affects how people access and sustain suitable housing.

Read our full written evidence

Tagged In

Minority Groups, Policy

This article was written on 14 January 2022. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.