Struggle for housing and jobs fuels racial tensions

Deprivation and disadvantage play a “pivotal role” in neighbourhood relationships, with racial tensions often driven by struggles for resources such as employment and housing, says a report published today.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation study of two neighbourhoods in London and Manchester found that residents across ethnic groups generally saw living in a multi-ethnic neighbourhood as positive. But there was a perception among residents in existing communities, both white British and black Caribbean, that newly arriving groups were receiving better treatment from service providers, particularly in the context of housing allocations.

The report found population turnover made it difficult for service providers to give support and could contribute to people feeling negative about their area.

A second study published by the foundation today into the experience of migrants from East and Central Europe working in low-wage occupations in the UK found that just under a quarter planned to settle in the UK permanently.

It said a lack of practical information on arrival left many migrants ignorant of the conditions attached to their immigration status, how to access health care, where to obtain advice and their rights to work.

A third JRF study published today found only a minority of Eastern European immigrants interviewed felt they belonged to their neighbourhood, despite feeling they belonged to the UK as a whole.

More information

Migration from Eastern Europe: Are councils ready?

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