Government Racial Disparity Audit and Racial Discrimination and Disadvantage in Housing ~ The publication of the government’s racial disparity audit followed on from, and confirmed the findings of, HCI’s extensive research into racial discrimination and disadvantage in housing. Research findings, undertaken with BMENational, the representative body for BME housing organisations, was featured in a range of publications, including:
Deep Roots, Diverse Communities, Dedicated Service: The Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Housing Sector’s Offer ~ This ‘offer’ document was developed between BMENational and HCI to highlight the valuable role BME housing organisations play in the UK’s housing system generally, and specifically to provide housing opportunities to BME communities, and employment and training opportunities to BME people. The offer covers 1) the strength of the BME housing collective 2) ongoing investment in housing 3)a partnership approach 4) promoting social integration and community cohesion 4) supporting migrants and refugees 5) enabling local economic growth and boosting life chances.
Affordable Lives Paper ~ Released in June, this paper explores whether England has a crisis of affordability. It seeks to review affordability in housing by tenure within the context of earnings and the cost of living, as well as against a backdrop of rising inequality in incomes and wealth. The paper asks whether many households can now lead ‘affordable lives’ within the context of continuing austerity, wide inequalities in incomes and wealth, rising costs of living (especially rents and households essentials), stagnant earnings, biting cuts in welfare benefits and the roll-out of Universal Credit. The paper seeks to promote ways in which lives can be made more affordable. For example, investment in social rather than ‘affordable’ housing would help with living costs of social tenants.
24Housing Magazine, 22nd December 2016 ~ This blog, What’s in a Name?, used HCI survey evidence that social housing tenants prefer to be called ‘residents’ rather than ‘customers’ since this helps establish equal status with home owners. The blog further argued that the use of the term ‘customer’ is inappropriate for social housing since tenants are not generally able to exercise choice not are their collective choices able to affect the level of rents or the costs of services as with the price mechanism in a private market.
Black History Month ~ The BMENational conference was held during October, which was Black History Month. HCI published a report to coincide with the conference. Publication of the report also marked the 40th anniversary of the Race Relations Act 1976 and the 30th anniversary of the first BME Housing Strategy, published by the then social housing regulator, the Housing Corporation in 1986. Extensive coverage in the media was also obtained at 24Housing, Inside Housing and Media Diversified.
WMCA and Housing Issues Round-Tables, July and August ~ Over the summer, HCI held a series of round-tables to explore housing issues in the West Midlands’ conurbation and how the West Midlands Combined Authority might utilise/support housing investment to accelerate prosperity in the region. Involving more than 60 stakeholders from the housing, local government and construction sectors, the results from the round-table are feeding into a report produced by HCI and the Futures Network West Midlands to recommend ways in which the profile of housing issues can be raised and how housing can make a significant contribution to the success of the devolved authority.
24th March 2016, Inside Housing ~ This article, written by HCI’s Public Affairs Manager, Dawn Prentice, was featured in Inside Housing explaining HCI’s new research on LGBTI communities and their housing, economic and social needs. The article argued that the housing and welfare needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people remain under-researched in England. It then went on to describe how HCI’s new research aims to fill this gap and contribute to E&D debates in housing.