Probe into race link with homelessness

A new project is to examine whether housing services meet the needs
of people from ethnic minorities.

The initiative, announced last week by social exclusion minister
Barbara Roche, will also investigate the causes of

The latest government figures show that people from these groups
are nearly three times more likely to be homeless.

Under the Race Relations (Amendment)Act 2000, local authorities
have a duty to assess whether their housing policies could have an
adverse impact on different racial groups.

Of 30,560 households accepted as homeless by local authorities
between April and June this year, 6,730 were from ethnic
minorities. Nationally, ethnic minorities comprise about 8 per cent
of the population, yet they account for 22 per cent of those
accepted as homeless in the last quarter.

In London more than half of all homeless households are from ethnic
minorities, even though these groups comprise only 28 per cent of
the population.

The government also announced £17m for 500 homes for homeless
families living in bed and breakfast hotels in London. At the end
of June, 81,170 households were in temporary accommodation.

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