Housing project

Housing inequality has emerged as a critical focal point for ROTA, particularly in light of the devastating disproportionate impact on Black and racialised communities, exacerbated by post-COVID lockdowns and the escalating Cost of Living crisis. Various published research, including ROTA and Herriot Watt University, provide evidence of racial discrimination in housing: 

  1. Black people are 70% more likely to be impacted by the housing emergency than white people, while Asian people are 50% more likely to be affected.
  2. Centrepoint found that a quarter (24%) of people making homelessness applications to local councils are from these communities, even though they make up just over a tenth (11%)of all households in England.
  3. There is also recent evidence of racism, abuse and poor conditions within the social housing sector, along with a long history of structural racism in housing provision in the UK.
  4. ROTA’s collaborative research with Heriot-Watt University: Homelessness Amongst Black and Minoritised Ethnic Communities in the UK – A Statistical Report on the State of the Nation – reveals that England has the highest levels of homelessness risks experienced by people from Black and racially minoritised people. The report also found Black people are three and a half times as likely to experience statutory homelessness as White British people. The report also found that experience of discrimination, harassment or abuse on the grounds of race or ethnicity in housing, or in other aspects of life, appears to be associated with elevated risks of homelessness.
  5. The COVID-19 pandemic and Cost of Living Crisis has exacerbated and shone a light on existing housing inequalities, resulting in overcrowding, substandard living conditions, unaffordable rent, and low wages – which, in turn, created a conducive environment for the virus’s rapid spread. The impact has been disproportionately felt by Black and Asian households, evidenced by their elevated COVID-19 infection and mortality rates. Notably, Newham, a London borough with a substantial Black and Asian population, the highest overcrowding, and the longest housing waiting list, also records one of the highest COVID mortality rates. This underscores the urgency of addressing these interconnected challenges, particularly as the potential for a similar future epidemic remains a Tier 1 risk as set out by the NSRA.

Project Goals and Approach

ROTA is planning for the launch of a Housing project that will empower individuals with lived experiences of precarious housing and institutional racism in the housing sector to strengthen their voices, connections, and influence and provide a platform to expose and challenge discriminatory practices in housing. 

We plan to conduct a participatory research project delving into the systemic and institutional racism deeply ingrained within the housing sector, co-produced with members of our network with lived experience of housing discrimination. We aim to qualitatively explore the experiences of Black and Global Majority Londoners who find themselves in precarious and insecure housing situations, with a specific focus on understanding the causes and consequences of this disproportionate issue. 

To bring this project to life, we are seeking funding dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of impacted communities, who will lead on our participatory research, culminating in rich qualitative data in support of advocacy for frontline Black and Global Majority community groups that are at the forefront of addressing systemic racism within the housing sector.

For more information on our Housing Project, please contact Katherine Odukoya.