As an experienced former local authority housing adviser and a pan-AfRaKan activist, the reality of the manifestations of racism and discrimination by private landlords and social housing providers in the UK is truly appalling.
“As with homelessness, racism is structural and is woven into the processes and practices of systems and institutions which should act as the safety net preventing people from becoming homeless to begin with, and then supporting them to escape the cycle of exclusion once they become homeless. The safety nets are not working for minority groups.”Dr Halima Begum, CEO of the Runnymede Trust.
Of growing concern is the statutory failures of local authorities to adhere to and comply with their mandatory duties to advise, prevent and / relieve homelessness and threats of homelessness to persons whose protected characteristic of ethnicity is all too often ignored and subsequently failed under the Public Sector Equality Duty.
The following report is essential reading for everyone, because the ability to live in safe and decent homes should be a fundamental right for everyone.
Homelessness and Black and Minoritised Ethnic Communities in the UK: A Statistical Report on the State of the Nation is the first report in a three-year knowledge and capacity building programme. It aims to support a fundamental step change in the UK evidence base on homelessness amongst people from Black and minoritised ethnic communities.
The research was delivered with input from race and equalities organisations, national housing and homelessness charities, and poverty experts. Its technical work used sources from the UK Data Service, Government Statistical services and ONS.
Professor Glen Bramley, Heriot-Watt University, said: “This report reveals the shocking extent of disparities in homelessness risks experienced between some minoritised ethnic communities and White people living in the UK today. What is particularly distressing is the apparent link between homelessness and race discrimination...Black people are three and a half times as likely to experience statutory homelessness as White British people.