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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

When hate crime impacts the home

Housing Rights believes that everyone should have the right to live in a home which is safe and secure. Unfortunately, Northern Ireland, like the rest of the UK, experiences regular incidents of hate crime.

What is a hate crime?

Hate crime occurs when a perpetrator’s actions against another person or their property is as a result of their hostility or prejudice on the grounds of the victim’s ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, political opinion or disability. In terms of race, statistics from the Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI) show that between 1st April 2016 and 1st October 2016, 563 hate incidents with a racist motivation were reported to police.

Hate crimes can manifest themselves in many ways, including:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Intimidation
  • Harassment
  • Physical assault
  • Criminal damage to property.

As part of a recent National Hate Crime Awareness Week the PSNI launched its #VOICES campaign with the theme of Standing Together with all people who have been victims of hate crime.

Hate crime and its impact on the home

Hate crime not only causes harm to a person’s physical and mental health and well-being but can also have a significant impact on their housing situation. A victim may no longer feel safe in their own home. Advisers dealing with clients in this situation need to be aware of what a hate crime is, whether their client has been a victim of hate crime, what help is available to cope with the trauma and what housing options are open to them. This could include help with making their home more secure, asking for homelessness assistance or finding alternative accommodation.

Housing Rights hate crimes training course

Housing Rights will be delivering a course, Helping victims of hate crime feel safe in their home, on 12th December. This course will be vital to anyone advising people who have or may have been subject to a hate crime, and will focus particularly on the housing options available to them to ensure that they live in a safer environment.  There will also be a contribution from Katie Johnson, Hate Crime Coordinator for Victim Support.

Tagged In

Minority Groups, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Homelessness, Equality


Sharon Geary

This article was written on 11 October 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.