What’s causing structural racism in housing?

Think tank: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Author(s): Khem Rogaly; Joseph Elliott; Darren Baxter

September 14, 2021

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at answers for a more equal, just housing system.

During the coronavirus storm these structural inequalities played a part in worsening housing insecurity and health issues for BAME communities. They include deep inequalities in the labour markets, the social security system, and the effects of hostile immigration policies. These injustices are not inevitable, they are the result of systems which have been designed and which can be redesigned. This briefing offers answers for a more equal, just housing system. Key findings More than a quarter of BAME working adults spend over a third of their income on housing compared to just over 1 in 10 white workers. BAME workers in the lowest-paid occupations are far more likely to face unaffordable housing costs than white workers in the same occupations or white workers on average. Nearly 4 in 10 BAME workers whose characteristics mean that they are likely to be subject to No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) spend more than a third of their income on housing, compared to just over 1 in 10 white workers. 8 in 20 households affected by the benefit cap in England are BAME even though BAME households represent only 3 in every 20 of the total population, compounding housing affordability issues. All but one of the 10 most ethnically diverse local authorities in England outside London has a significantly higher rate of eviction possession claims than the 10 least diverse. Immigration policy, discriminatory rental legislation and social welfare policy are among the drivers of unequal housing outcomes for BAME communities.