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Are Ethnic Minorities Treaded Equally and Justly in the Allocation of Social Housing - Essay Example

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Hills (2007) indicates that social housing accounts for around 4 million households in England. According to the UK Government’s statistics (2011), there are also a further 5 million people on waiting lists for social housing…
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Are Ethnic Minorities Treaded Equally and Justly in the Allocation of Social Housing
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Download file to see previous pages A further quarter of a million social homes are currently overcrowded. Over recent decades, Rutter and Latorre (2009) indicate that there has been a large reduction in social housing stock in many parts of the UK. This is due to existing tenants exercising their right to buy their properties, and a reduction in the building of new social houses. These changes have also occurred at a time when there has been an increase in the number of households in the UK, caused by greater longevity, marital breakdown, and immigration. For example, UK Census data indicates that the UK’s foreign born population rose from 2.1 million (4.2% of population in 1951) to 4.9 million (8.3% of the population) by 2001. Labour Force Survey (LFS) data from 2007 suggests that the current percentage of foreign born UK citizens stands at around 10.7%. The highest percentage of foreign born people currently residing in the UK come from India (approximately 568,700) according to LFS data. All these factors have contributed to larger social housing waiting lists across the UK and the increase in the rise of migrants and different ethnic minority groups immigrating into the UK has led to a debate surrounding the issue of social housing allocation amongst ethnic minority groups. ...
The need for adequate social housing allocation policy is therefore necessary to not only reduce inequality between ethnic groups, but to also promote harmony and a peaceful multicultural society in which people from all ethnic backgrounds can coincide. Before identifying existing evidence of (in)equality, I believe it is important to identify this very term. According to Ratcliffe ‘the notion of (in)equality can relate to objectives, forms/degrees of access and outcomes to particular social structures within society’ (1999:5). For example, in order to get good quality housing, people must also have good access and high achievement in other institutional areas, e.g. education and employment. This suggests that housing allocation and inequality between ethnic groups can be determined by wider socio-demographic factors, i.e. the better grades a person achieves at school, the better likelihood they are to get a well paid job, and as such, the increased likelihood they are to live in adequate and safe residential neighbourhoods. In order for local authorities and the government to tackle racial inequality within the housing sector, it appears a holistic approach will be needed. Rutter and Lasorre (2009) highlight that attempts to create fair systems for allocating social housing date back to the Housing Act of 1936, in which local authorities were required to give reasonable preference for social housing to applicants who met ‘certain criteria’. After 1945, there was a strong notion that social housing should be provided for the most vulnerable in society. However, it is this ‘certain criteria’ which people had to meet in order to be eligible for social housing which has ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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