Shared communities

Community Cohesion and Good Relations

Promoting Good Relations is a priority for the Housing Executive and we aim to build community confidence, increase awareness of, and respect for diversity, increase dialogues within and between communities and ensure that all our work is relevant and meets real needs. 

We carry out and commission research to help inform our work on community cohesion and good relations.

The Roma Community in Northern Ireland and housing

In light of the anecdotal evidence about the growth of the Roma Community in Northern Ireland in recent years, the Housing Executive identified a need for an initial scoping study in relation to this group, the findings of which are outlined in this short report.

The main aims of the study were to: 

  • Draw together existing research findings

  • Set out the context of the Roma Community’s housing eligibility, choice and opportunity in Northern Ireland;

  • Collate any available information on the location and estimated numbers of Roma households living in the region; and 

  • Examine any issues particular to Northern Ireland.

Mapping Segregation

The availability of a new Northern Ireland Census Grid Square product in 2007 meant that it was possible, for the first time, to analyse residential segregation – and its changes through time – in individual housing estates.  The Housing Executive therefore commissioned researchers from Queen’s University (which developed the Grid Square tool) to analyse patterns of segregation based primarily on the 2001 Census.

The research team produced two reports, one for estates in Belfast and one for those estates outside Belfast that were of sufficient size to allow analysis.  The more recent, 2011-based research again used the grid square tool to identify trends and general patterns based on changes between the 2001 Census and the 2011 Census, with findings presented separately for Belfast and estates outside Belfast

Shared Communities Research

We carried out a number of surveys as part of our Shared Communities Programme, which  aims to develop shared areas where people choose to live with others, regardless of their religion, race or nationality in a neighbourhood that is safe and welcoming to all, and threatening to no-one. Central to the programme for each area selected was a survey conducted by our Research Unit.

Whilst surveys were developed in consultation with each community, all aimed to:

  • measure residents’ satisfaction with local services and facilities;

  • identify activities or services that could be provided at a local community level;

  • assess attitudes to community relations and community safety in the area; and

  • identify areas of work needed in order to develop and implement a good relations plan.

Reports on all the surveys carried out are available from the list below: 

Loughview Estate - A Shared Future (Published August 2013)

This report examines the transfer of former Ministry of Defence (MoD) housing to civilian use through a case study of the Loughview Estate, in Ballykelly, Co Londonderry.

Forthspring Inter Community Group - Towards a Shared Neighbourhood

This report provides findings from a discrete piece of research commissioned by the Housing Executive in November 2009.

The focus of this community survey is the interface situated on the borderline between the two communities of the predominately Catholic Springfield Road and the predominately Protestant Woodvale Road in Belfast. This survey was integral to the partnership between Forthspring Inter Community Group and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s Shared Neighbourhood Programme.

Migrant workers and the housing market

There has been no comprehensive study of the effect of the rapid increase in the number of migrant workers on Northern Ireland’s housing market.

This research goes some way to address this issue. Using Dungannon and Larne as case studies, it examines the impact that migrant workers have had on the local housing market, provides an insight into their current housing circumstances and gives a preliminary indication of their future housing needs.

Download: Migrant Workers and the Housing Market: a report to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Social housing