Migrants more likely to be in overcrowded accommodation – study

Migrants face even greater challenges in the Irish housing market than the Irish-born, with many migrants concentrated in the private rental sector with a much higher risk of overcrowding and homelessness.

This is according to a report published Monday by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) which is based on microdata from the 2016 census relating to migrant housing and family problems.

Although the data predates the war in Ukraine and the accompanying refugee crisis, the report’s lead author, Dr Frances McGinnity, said any policy weaknesses revealed by the previous census, such as a shortage of housing, could be aggravated by current events. .

Titled Origin and Integration: Housing and Family among Migrants in the 2016 Irish Census, the ESRI report compared the housing and family situation of people born in Ireland with that of first-generation migrants, examining what it meant for their integration.

Regarding housing, the report found:

* More than half (56%) of all migrants lived in private rental accommodation in 2016, compared to 13% of the Irish-born. Some 75 per cent of Polish migrants – one of the largest migrant groups in Ireland – lived in private rental accommodation.

* Eight per cent of people born in Ireland lived in overcrowded housing in 2016, a relatively low proportion by international comparison, according to the report. In contrast, almost 20% of migrants in Ireland lived in overcrowded housing.

* Rates of overcrowding were particularly high among some non-EEA (European Economic Area) migrants, including migrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) (37%), Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa. other countries in Africa (39%), South Asia (41%) and East Asia (37%).

The study found that migrants who had lived in Ireland longer were less likely to rent or live in overcrowded accommodation.

single parenthood

Census data shows that non-Irish nationals were over-represented among people experiencing homelessness in Ireland; non-Irish nationals made up 11% of the total population, but non-Irish nationals made up 25% of homeless people.

With regard to the family situation of migrants, greater similarity between migrants and the Irish-born was observed, although some key differences emerged between migrant groups.

Households with children headed by migrants from Eastern Europe and migrants from Asia (South Asia, East Asia, also Mena) were less likely to be single-parent households than Irish households with children . Of all the migrant groups examined, households headed by Sub-Saharans and other Africans were the most likely to experience single parenthood.

The highest rates of intermarriage were among heads of households born in the UK and the US/Oceania; among the two groups, about 70 percent of all partnerships were with an Irish-born partner.

For other migrant groups, intermarriage was rare, especially among Eastern European and Asian groups (South Asian, East Asian, Mena). For example, of all Polish household heads with a partner, only 3% have a partner born in Ireland.

ESRI concluded based on the evidence that “housing should be a priority area for migrant integration policy” and that housing should be urgently incorporated into the successor to the 2017 Migrant Integration Strategy -2020.

Dr McGinnity noted that tackling the current major challenges in the Irish housing market would benefit migrants, “as they find themselves disproportionately in overcrowded housing and homelessness”.

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