Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

Ethnic minority housing divide: Indians 'more likely to have dreams shattered', reveals Manchester study

Ethnic minority housing divide: Indians 'more likely to have dreams shattered', reveals Manchester study

By Jess Owen

The housing crisis is hitting minorities hardest, affecting the Indian ethnic group most, Manchester University sociologists revealed yesterday.

New research, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has revealed a huge divide in who gets the best access to the most desirable housing in England and Wales  

Based at the University’s Centre on Dynamics of Ethnic (CoDE), Dr Nissa Finney and Dr Bethan Harries argue that trends show ethnic minorities are more likely to live in an insecure, substandard private rented accommodation.

These findings rebut certain claims that ethnic minorities have easier access to more stable rental properties.

Asked what the impact this study could have on how minority housing changes in the future, Dr Finney said: “The persistence of ethnic inequalities in the housing sector, as our work with the census shows, suggests that this has been an area that policy has neglected.

“There is certainly a need to better understand, for example, why the Indian ethnic group has seen such a large decrease in homeownership and rise in private renting, and whether there is something in particular about the experiences of this group that policy initiatives should address."

The study also showed that increased private renting and decreased home ownership between 1991 and 2011 was a common experience across ethnic groups. However private renting has increased more for some ethnic groups- proportionately greatest in Pakistani, Indian and Black Caribbean populations for which private renting almost doubled. Private rent increases affected black African and Chinese ethnic groups least in that period.

With the overwhelming preference in England for citizens to gain secure home ownership, a preference actively encouraged by government schemes such as ‘right to buy’ and ‘help to buy,’ the statistic that 9.8million people rented private accommodation in 2011, is startling.

Young people from ethnic minority groups are hit even harder, the researchers found, because they are less able to enjoy the security of home ownership, creating a ‘generation rent'.

Due to the difficulties purchasing a house, such as putting up the initial deposit payment, many of the younger generation are forced into renting.

However, the most worrying trend that the research shows is the rate of change experienced by the Indian ethnic group.

In 2011 the Indian ethnic group had the highest proportion of home ownership (69%) above the figure for white Britons (68%). Yet this ethnic group has experienced a vast decrease in home ownership and a rise in private renting.

Dr Finney added: “It’s clear that all ethnic groups, as well as the white group, want to own their own home.

“But it seems your ethnic background and where you live has an influence on whether those dreams are realised.”

Image courtesy of Oatsy40 via Flickr, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.