Politicians and policy makers urged to address housing inequalities
THE Equality Commission has called on politicians and policy makers to prioritise efforts to address "persistent" housing inequalities in Northern Ireland.
In a report, the commission identified seven key areas where problems still exist.
It highlighted the fact that Catholics wait longer for social housing, while members of the Travelling community have "limited access to appropriate accommodation".
The report also found there are only limited opportunities for people with a learning disability to live independently and some people with disabilities are living in homes inadequate for their needs.
Meanwhile, ethnic and migrant groups are vulnerable to racially-motivated attacks on their homes and lesbian, gay and bisexual people can also feel harassed and unsafe.
Dr Evelyn Collins, chief executive of the Equality Commission, said: “We acknowledge that progress has been made to improve housing stock and develop access to suitable accommodation across Northern Ireland over the past decades, but there is compelling evidence that work still needs to be done to address enduring inequalities, which continue to affect people across our community.
"As a society we must not ignore inequalities in this crucial area. Unchallenged, they will continue to affect the lives of many people across Northern Ireland and the life chances of future generations. A revised Programme for Government should provide an opportunity to develop actions to address these inequalities."