Skip to main content
Mother and daughter sat together smiling.
Race and ethnicity

What's causing structural racism in housing?

Inequalities Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities face in accessing affordable and secure homes are rooted in structural injustices that are just not right, and must change.

Written by:
Date published:

During the coronavirus storm these structural inequalities played a part in worsening housing insecurity and health issues for BAME communities. They include deep inequalities in the labour markets, the social security system, and the effects of hostile immigration policies.

These injustices are not inevitable, they are the result of systems which have been designed and which can be redesigned. This briefing offers answers for a more equal, just housing system.

Key findings

  • More than a quarter of BAME working adults spend over a third of their income on housing compared to just over 1 in 10 white workers.
  • BAME workers in the lowest-paid occupations are far more likely to face unaffordable housing costs than white workers in the same occupations or white workers on average.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 BAME workers whose characteristics mean that they are likely to be subject to No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) spend more than a third of their income on housing, compared to just over 1 in 10 white workers.
  • 8 in 20 households affected by the benefit cap in England are BAME even though BAME households represent only 3 in every 20 of the total population, compounding housing affordability issues.
  • All but one of the 10 most ethnically diverse local authorities in England outside London has a significantly higher rate of eviction possession claims than the 10 least diverse.
  • Immigration policy, discriminatory rental legislation and social welfare policy are among the drivers of unequal housing outcomes for BAME communities.
Smiling woman drinking a cup of tea in a kitchen.

This briefing is part of the housing topic.

Find out more about our work in this area.

Discover more about housing