• Saturday, June 03, 2023


Pakistani and Bangladeshi households face greater risks of homelessness: Study

The risk of homelessness varies by geography and racial group, the study said.

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

A new study has revealed that Pakistani and Bangladeshi households in the UK are more likely to be homeless than Indian and other Asian households.

According to the study by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, more than one in ten Asian people who have experienced homelessness have also faced landlord discrimination, which is twice the rate of the general population.

However, the study said that Asian households had lower rates of statutory homelessness and core forms of homelessness than black households.

It established a strong link between discrimination and homelessness as the research revealed that one in three black homeless people also faced racial abuse from a landlord.

It added that black people are six times more likely to face discrimination than the general homeless population.

Additionally, the probability of homelessness is about 50 per cent higher for black-led households reporting discrimination than for white-led households.

The report discovered ‘overwhelming’ evidence that people from black and minority ethnic communities face disproportionately high rates of homelessness.

The risk of homelessness varies by geography and racial group, with black and minority ethnic communities in London facing significantly higher risks, the research said.

According to the study, characteristics connected to race, ethnicity, and discrimination have an impact on the chances of homelessness both directly and indirectly by raising poverty levels or increasing the likelihood of renting as against to owning a home.

In the wake of the study, which used data from the government’s 2016-2018 English Housing Surveys, housing campaigners said that racial inequality is deep rooted in the UK housing system.

Prof Glen Bramley, a co-author of the report, claimed that the study highlighted apparent link between homelessness and race discrimination which is ‘distressing’.

Recently, the parents of two-year-old Awaab Ishak blamed a social landlord’s racism for his death from black mould in a rented flat in Rochdale that was not treated despite complaints. Following the complaint, the chief executive of Awaab’s landlord was fired.

The incident also prompted housing secretary Michael Gove directed all councils across England to make an urgent assessment of damp and mould which are caused by excess moistur.

“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 homelessness to begin with, and then supporting them to escape the cycle of exclusion once they become homeless,” Dr Halima Begum, chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, was reported to have said.

“The safety nets are not working for minority groups.”

Eastern Eye

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