News & Events

Print Print Page | A | A | A

ITB Collaborates with the Immigrant Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council on new research detailing the impact of social housing-related racism

RSS Feed RSS Feed

27/02/2017 12:47:49

Immigrant Council of Ireland


Racist harassment in housing is much more prevalent and serious than previously documented, new research published today (16.02.2017) by the Immigrant Council of Ireland has found. The report Taking Racism Seriously: Experiences of racism and racially motivated anti-social behaviour in social housing, which was co-authored by ITB Senior Lecturer, Dr Brid Ni Chonaill, outlines a number of housing-related racist incidents, examines the current gaps in social housing policies and procedures, and outlines potential solutions for this endemic issue.



This research analysed racist incidents in social housing, but it is clear from the Immigrant Council of Ireland's helpline statistics that incidents of the same nature are happening in all types of tenure. For Taking Racism Seriously, data on racist incidents in social housing was collected across Ireland and on foot of the findings, Dublin City Council's responses to such issues were analysed to identify what the current existing policies and practices are in place, and how they might be improved upon.



Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said, "This research was inspired by calls to our own anti-racism hotline and the increasing number of incidents of racial harassment in people's homes or the vicinity. Delving more deeply we uncovered the nature of racist harassment in housing is much more violent than in other settings such as in the workplace or in schools and colleges.

"We were left in no doubt of the serious impact racial abuse and harassment has on people, with, shockingly, two suicide attempts reported as a direct result of racially motivated anti-social behaviour. Furthermore three families ended up becoming virtually homeless and there were also many reports of sleep disturbance, anxiety, fear of leaving home or of leaving children to play outside.

"Harassment of people in their homes is particularly damaging and people are in a very vulnerable position. The perpetrators always know where you are and there is no hiding from them. The home is supposed to be people's safe place; their sanctuary. Victims of racially motivated harassment in their homes can be constantly worried that something more, possibly worse is going to happen to them or their family members. When people's sense of safety and security is robbed then stress levels rise dramatically and mental health can be seriously affected, as we saw in the cases where young victims of racially motivated harassment attempted suicide or had suicidal ideation.

"This report highlighted clear gaps in policy, training and procedure for those working in local housing authorities and the Gardai. We therefore commend Dublin City Council for taking a proactive approach to investigating the issues and seeking solutions."



Brendan Kenny, Deputy Chief Executive, Dublin City Council, said "This research has given us the opportunity to examine more carefully people's experiences, revealing the extent of the problems of housing-related racism and the impact this has on people's lives.

"Given the increasing diversity of Irish society, there is a risk this issue could mushroom and overwhelm many services. We therefore have a responsibility to put policies and practices in place which will prevent the problem escalating. We look forward to working alongside key partners, including the Gardai, other local housing authorities and the relevant State bodies, to ensure better protections are put in place for those affected."


What our students say...

Monika Karaliunaite

"Basically the course covers everything to do with digital and online media. I had it as a hobby in sixth year but when I came here I learned so much more."

Monika Karaliunaite,
Creative Digital Media Student

Area / Transport Map