Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
21 November 2022

Black people are almost four times as likely to experience homelessness as white people

A third of black people with experience of homelessness have faced discrimination from a social or private landlord.

By Aisha Majid

Black people are almost four times as likely to experience homelessness as their white peers, according to findings by Heriot-Watt University.

The research, carried out in partnership with the non-profit organisation Race on the Agenda, found that households headed by someone who is black are 3.6 times as likely to apply to an English local authority because they are homeless or threatened with homelessness, when compared with households led by someone who was white British.

The research also revealed that almost a third (32 per cent) of black people with experience of homelessness have faced discrimination from a social or private landlord, and found that discrimination, harassment or abuse because of race or ethnicity in housing appeared to increase the risk of being left without a place to live.

People from Asian minority ethnic groups, while less likely than those from black or mixed backgrounds to find themselves statutorily homeless, sleeping rough or in unsuitable temporary accommodation, were more likely to experience what the report called "hidden aspects" of homelessness. This includes overcrowding or "doubling up" with other households. Pakistani and Bangladeshi households faced the greatest risks of these.

Injustice in housing has come into the spotlight following a coroner’s verdict last week that the death of Awaab Ishak, 2, in 2020 was due to prolonged exposure to toxic mould in his home. The boy's father made repeated requests that the landlord, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, address the problem but nothing was done. The housing association's boss, Gareth Swarbrick, has since been sacked.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

[See also: Who is authentically black if not Kwasi Kwarteng?]

Content from our partners
Why public health policy needs to refocus
The five key tech areas for the public sector in 2023
You wouldn’t give your house keys to anyone, so why do that with your computers?