- Capital: Belfast
- Population: 1.8 million
- Housing: More than 37,000 people are on the social housing waiting list
- Segregation: 92% of social housing remains single identity
- Date when Habitat started working in the country: 1994
- Individuals served in FY17: 35,000
- Volunteers engaged in FY17: 4,935
- Funds raised for global mission: £4.1 million
Habitat for Humanity in Northern Ireland
Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland’s local work has focused on reconciliation and building strong, vibrant communities in which everyone can reach their full potential.
In nearly 25 years, more than 30,000 volunteers from across Northern Ireland have engaged in practical projects, locally and globally, which break down barriers and help build strength, stability and self-reliance in the families who partner with Habitat. Habitat NI also raise funds for the global mission, focusing support on long-term partnership programs which empower families to improve the place they call home.
The housing need in Northern Ireland
Housing affordability, empty homes, social exclusion and the legacy of conflict are key issues facing deprived communities and vulnerable people in Northern Ireland. More than 37,000 people are on the social housing waiting list and more than 92 percent of social housing remains single identity. In poverty, division is absolute.
Building strong communities
Peace-building remains at the heart of the strategy locally. Habitat Northern Ireland has developed innovative partnerships with other organizations to address key issues facing deprived communities and vulnerable groups. It brings to these partnerships 25 years’ experience in community building, construction, and volunteer engagement to support community regeneration. Through a partnership with The Welcome Organisation, Habitat NI works to improve access to safe shelter for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, recently refurbishing crisis accommodation for women.
Habitat Northern Ireland’s international partnerships focus on strategic themes of peace building, disaster response and mitigation, vulnerable groups, and the impacts of urbanization. These partnerships support Habitat’s every day work in Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Malawi, and Romania. Every year, volunteers from across Northern Ireland travel to support our partner programmes around the world. They experience first-hand the impact of poverty housing and help make a lasting difference to families in need. We hope to encourage volunteers to become a voice for safe shelter when they return home; inspiring others to help us reach many more families in need.
Habitat ReStores deliver real impacts for the local community. The low-cost, do-it-yourself stores sell donated new and used building supplies and home improvement materials at 50 percent to 75 percent of the normal retail price. As well as raising funds for our work, the stores enable local people to improve their homes for less cost, provides opportunities for volunteers from different abilities and backgrounds, and diverts tons of reusable waste from landfill. Habitat ReStores have developed a number of key corporate partnerships. Companies such as QMAC Construction, Murdock Builders Merchants, Creagh Concrete, JP Corry and Weber Saint Gobain, ensure there is a steady stream of quality stock in the stores.
School and youth programs
In Northern Ireland, just 7 percent of children attend integrated education. Every year Habitat Northern Ireland’s schools and youth programs provide meaningful opportunities for 1,700 young people to come together to explore social justice issues and develop new skills. Interactive workshops, working onsite and a fundraising challenge, encourage young people to become agents of change in their own communities, helping build a shared future for all.
The powerful, prayerful support of many church partners has underpinned our work since 1994. In a place where religion so often divides, Habitat provides local and global opportunities to put faith in action and serve others as an individual, congregation or in partnership with other churches. As an inclusive organization, Habitat welcomes people of all faiths or no faith to engage in its mission.
Meet a Habitat volunteer
Volunteers are the hands, hearts and voices of Habitat’s work. Over 5,000 volunteers from Northern Ireland have travelled through Habitat’s Global Village volunteer program to support the work that goes on every day with communities in need. Alan Brown has travelled on Global Village trips from Poland to El Salvador. Motivated by these experiences, he is among those who support Habitat’s work by donating every month.
“During Global Village trips, I’ve seen the difference a small amount of money can make and how Habitat keeps the cost low while ensuring quality. Every bit helps. It is one thing to travel but the need is ongoing; 1.6 billion people do not have a decent place to call home. By giving a little every month I can support Habitat’s ongoing work.” - Alan Brown, Habitat Northern Ireland supporter
What you can do
You can donate, volunteer or tithe to help build strong communities.