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How is our work influencing life in Northern Ireland and delivering equality? Learn more about our policy, legal and research work.

Overarching areas for action

Housing and communities

What you need to know


Housing policy priorities: overarching areas for action 

In addition to our policy priorities for housing and communities in Northern Ireland, the Commission will also encourage action by stakeholders and government to advance our full range of recommendations, with a particular focus on tackling the inequalities identified in our 2017 Statement on Key Inequalities in Housing and Communities.

The Commission has identified the following overarching areas where it considers that targeted action could serve to address key inequalities and advance equality of opportunity and good relations:

Develop shared, safe communities based on equality, dignity and respect

Infographic: Advance sharing in housing, while ensuring that objectively assessed housing need is met

Advance sharing in housing, while ensuring that objectively assessed housing need is met

Implement specific long-term measures to eliminate discrimination and intimidation; tackle prejudicial attitudes; and promote values of acceptance and respect for difference


Further tackle the under-reporting of hate incidents and crimes (against persons and dwellings), and increase outcome rates


Address the fear of crime among older people


Ensure that everyone has access to a sustainable home and enjoys the right to independent living

Infographic: Addressing the longer social housing waiting list for Catholic households

Ensure application of accessible housing standards to all new builds

Provide information regarding the availability of accessible accommodation


Ensure the provision of easy to access and affordable adaptation services across all tenures - including by streamlining existing processes and reducing waiting times


Extend the Disability Discrimination Act to include reasonable adjustments to communal areas in residential properties


Ensure access to adequate, sustainable and long-term independent living provision for all people with disabilities for whom it is a viable housing option


Further advance energy efficiency and expand oil buying clubs across all tenures.


Ensure the availability of suitable accommodation and services for homeless single males; younger and older people; and refugees and unsuccessful asylum seekers


Address the specific housing needs of particular equality groups

Infographic: Ensure the provision of easy to access and affordable services across all tenures

Address the longer waiting-list times for social housing experienced by households with a Catholic religion household reference person

Ensure that the accommodation needs of Travellers are met, in consultation with the Traveller community


Ensure greater awareness of the rights, responsibilities and housing options relevant to minority ethnic groups

Ensure that older people of differing sexual orientations and transgender people have their domiciliary, residential or nursing care needs fully met

Trusts should ensure there is sufficient capacity to care for permanent care home residents (where they wish it), and that they provide for all older residents requiring care and support

Understand the accommodation needs, preferences and expectations of older people


Mitigate the long-term negative impacts of Welfare Reform

Infographic: Tackling the under-reporting of hate incidents and crimes and increase outcome rates

Ensure that the mitigation of negative impacts of Welfare Reform continues on a long-term basis

Address the needs of single tenants / prospective tenants aged 35 years and under when renting in the private rented sector


Tackle the barriers which the ‘digital by default’ and telephone advice system of benefits may present to those within some Section 75 categories

Improve equality data collection and analysis

Ensure data is sufficiently disaggregated to allow for meaningful equality analysis, to better inform public policy intervention


Further information about the Commission’s priorities and recommendations is available in the following publications:


Additional information 
Read our Real Life Stories (pdf) or view videos of personal experiences which tell the good and bad of finding and keeping a home in NI.  

Contact us
If you would like to discuss this area of our work further, please contact Deborah Howe, Senior Policy Officer


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< Addressing Inequality

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