A fairer Scotland for all: race equality action plan and highlight report 2017-2021

The race equality action plan sets out the key actions for the Scottish Government to drive positive change for minority ethnic communities.

Section 4: Housing

A safe, secure, warm place to stay is the minimum we should all expect. Yet we know that people from minority ethnic communities are four times more likely to live in overcrowded homes than their white counterparts. They are also concentrated in the private sector, often in poorer quality housing stock. In our actions on Housing, we have followed the Independent Race Equality Adviser's aims to both maximise the availability of good quality, affordable housing across all tenure types and increase the number of people from minority ethnic communities working in the housing sector.

In Scotland 'White: Other British', 'Pakistani' and 'White: Scottish' ethnic groups had the highest levels of home ownership (70, 68 and 68% respectively) in 2011. It should be noted that the 'White: Scottish' and 'White: Other British' groups tended to have an older population compared to minority ethnic groups.

Source: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/8716/downloads.

'White: Polish', 'Bangladeshi' and 'African' households had the highest rates of over-crowding.

Source: Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census - Part 2.

The 'African' and 'White: Gypsy/Traveller' groups had the highest proportions of people who lived in social rented accommodation (41 and 40% respectively) - this was double the rate in the population as a whole.

Source: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/8716/downloads.

Private rented households had a much lower percentage of 'White: Scottish' adults at 57%, than other tenures (86% of social rented sector were White Scottish, 81% buying with a mortgage and 82% owned outright).

Source: Social Tenants in Scotland 2015.



Key Actions

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

The Centre for Housing Market Analysis ( CHMA) will update the Housing Need and Demand Assessment ( HNDA) Tool and associated data by the end of 2017, and the tool will be supported by refreshed guidance. The refreshed guidance will include updates to areas that have generated consistent comments during the Robust and Credible appraisal process.

Consideration will be given to making Consultation one of the Robust and Credible criteria on which the HNDA assessment is based, to ensure clarity around who has been consulted, how they were consulted and the findings from the feedback received. This should help to ensure that the evidence base for the HNDA is more informed and reflects more accurately the current and future need for housing and housing related services for all, including minority ethnic communities.

We will review Local Housing Strategy ( LHS) guidance in 2018-19 and this will be used to address areas of concern highlighted by the review process so far and other issues that have arisen since the guidance was last updated in August 2014. The guidance will also reflect all changes coming from the HNDA refresh and the planning review, as well as a range of other new or amended policies that impact on housing.

We will reaffirm in the Housing Need and Demand Assessment and LHS guidance the expectation that local authorities fully consider the requirement for larger accommodation, including for minority ethnic families and seek to address any identified need. The HNDA guidance is being refreshed now and the LHS guidance is to be refreshed 2018-19. The review process for the LHS will take this requirement into account when providing feedback to local authorities.

We will carry out a scoping exercise which would allow a clearer picture to be established of what research is required on the housing needs and experiences of minority ethnic households.

In 2018-19 the SHR will review their Charter indicators, including those related to protected characteristics, in order to help identify further opportunities for improvements in performance against the equalities outcome in the Scottish Housing Charter. This will be subject to full and formal consultation with a view to introducing new or amended equalities indicators.

We will ensure that the Joint Housing Policy and Delivery Group has a renewed focus on the specific needs of minority ethnic communities. We will recommend to the Group that an additional outcome is added to the Joint Housing Delivery Plan for Scotland so that it is explicit that our working groups should take account of the specific needs of minority ethnic communities. We will recommend to the Group that the specific needs of minority ethnic communities are considered as a strategic discussion item at their plenary in 2018.

We will assess the case for an additional specific requirement on the recording and provision of advice provided to minority ethnic communities on the conclusion of the current pilot of the Scottish Standards for information and advice providers.

We are working with Homes for Scotland, to develop better baseline information about skillsets, industry demographics, population representation levels, including for minority ethnic individuals and current and future skills requirements in industry over the coming year.

This baseline information will allow us to identify skills needs and gain a better understanding of current representation levels.

We will then work together and with relevant skills providers to promote industry participation and opportunities in the industry's many roles and professionalisms to targeting specific demographics, including younger people, across traditional industry gender divides and minority ethnic communities.

We will work with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations ( SFHA) as the national representative body for Registered Social Landlords ( RSLs), and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, encouraging those bodies to promote the need for positive action measures by their members to address staffing imbalances where there is an underrepresentation of an existing group.

We will work with local authorities (through COSLA) and housing associations to identify options for increasing the number of minority ethnic people in housing management roles.

Over the course of this Parliamentary term we will make the best use of available housing data and research to identify issues affecting minority ethnic communities and promote race equality. The Scottish Housing Regulator will use the data and intelligence that it gathers on an ongoing basis to inform its regulatory engagement to help ensure that social landlords meet the Scottish Social Housing Charter's standards and outcomes - including those on Equalities and Gypsy/Travellers.

By the end of 2018 we will include practice examples covering access for minority ethnic communities and individuals in the revised Social Housing Allocations Practice Guide.

Working through the Private Rented Sector Investigations and Prosecutions Working Group, we will develop guidance to enable more effective enforcement and prosecution in the Private Rented Sector by March 2018.

Over the next twelve months we will identify and promote a wide range of measures to encourage and support the sharing of good practice across the sector to improve standards, and between local authorities in their enforcement role. We will identify good practice by local authorities in supporting minority ethnic landlords to understand their obligations and in providing minority ethnic tenants with information about their rights and share this more widely by supplementing the existing guidance.

We will develop and implement a framework for gathering information to monitor the impact of new legislative changes on those living in the Private Rented Sector, including the impact on minority ethnic private tenants.

We will work with key stakeholders to deliver a communication strategy aimed at tenants, landlords, letting agents and the wider public to make them aware of the changes in the Private Rented Sector ensuring that relevant information is developed for minority ethnic landlords and tenants by engaging with key delivery partners.


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