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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Mapping Foreign Nationals Living in Northern Ireland

The Housing Executive has recently released their ‘Mapping Foreign Nationals Living in Northern Ireland’ report. Estimating the number of foreign nationals living in Northern Ireland can be difficult. But this report uses information from the Census 2011, information gathered from the NIHE local offices and other key reports.

Findings from survey of NIHE Local Offices

  • Polish nationals have the highest number of applications for social housing, making up 28% (492) of the total number of applications from foreign nationals in the year up to 31 July 2015.
  • Allocations of housing to foreign nationals decreased by 13% in the same period (342 to 296).
  • The main reasons for foreign nationals having visited Housing Executive Offices in 1 year to 31 July 2015 are matters relating to private Housing Benefit and general housing issues.

Findings from Asylum Seeker Development Unit (ADU)

  • On average the Asylum Seeker Development Unit will conduct 300 visits a month and deal with 230 repairs.
  • 160 new referrals for Asylum Seekers in need of temporary dispersal accommodation were received in 2015/2016.
  • There is a total of 603 people currently living in temporary dispersal accommodation managed by the ADU.

Information from the 2011 Census

  • The breakdown of ethnic groups in 2011 showed 98.2% of the NI population was ‘white’, down from 99.2% in the 2001 Census.
  • The second largest ethnic group was Chinese.
  • The total population born in the EU accession countries and living in Northern Ireland from 2004 onwards was 1.97% of the population
  • Polish was the largest non English language spoken in NI.

Background to the Mapping Foreign Nationals Living in Northern Ireland Report

The Housing Executive’s Race Relation Policy identified the need to collect greater information on the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and migrant worker communities in Northern Ireland.

The information presented in the 'Mapping Foreign Nationals Living in Northern Ireland' report helps in the planning, resourcing and management of decisions in delivering social housing.

In addition, supplementary information on representative groups, racist incidents, employment, interpretation and translation requirements can help inform local strategies and initiatives.

Housing Rights of Migrants

Housing Rights have a Professional Resource "Housing Rights of Migrants" that covers the rights of migrants to reside, work and live in Northern Ireland, and the help available to them. Our Professional Resources are only £5.20 for members of Housing Rights

Tagged In

Minority Groups, Research, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies


Frances McGrath

This article was written on 28 June 2016. 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.