Equality and diversity
Last updated Date:20/02/2013
Housing plays a fundamental role in everyone’s life. Homes, and the communities in which they are located, directly influence access to key social and economic opportunities. Equality and diversity is key for housing because:
- Britain is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, which gives people protection for a range of human rights, several of which are relevant to housing providers
- the Equality Act 2010 brings together anti-discrimination and equality legislation to protect employees and service users across nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation
- the Public Sector Equality Duty requires housing providers to give “due regard” to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations where they exercise a public function
- the social and political vision of the government emphasises individual and community empowerment, greater transparency and choice
- the Localism Act 2011 gives local authorities and housing associations greater flexibility to make best use of their housing to meet the diverse and changing needs of their communities
- changes to the regulatory and inspection framework in the social housing sector will mean the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) adopting a more reactive approach to consumer protection with fewer codes of guidance to support the development and sharing of best practice
The UK is an increasingly diverse and tolerant place to live. However, equality and diversity challenges still remain in society and they affect housing in particular ways. CIH believes that housing providers play a key role in promoting equality and diversity in their homes and communities:
- housing customers are diverse - recognising and responding to that diversity is key to delivering a good customer service
- the communities in which social housing providers operate are diverse - as landlords, housing providers can exercise an influential role challenging prejudice and combating discrimination against individuals and groups with protected characteristics in communities
- housing providers are community anchors - they have an influential and long-term stake in the local communities which they serve and can foster good relations between different groups.
How can CIH help me?
For 2012, the Year of Practice, CIH has developed an equality and diversity charter for the housing sector. From this, we have also set up an on-line community of practice to support organisations who have signed up to the charter share capacity and expertise around equality and diversity. Visit our Year of Practice web page for more information and to find out how to get involved with the Year of Practice.
CIH have a range of publications covering equality and diversity these include, Delivering the Equality Act 2010, Delivering housing services to LGBT customers and Housing and inequality, they are all available from our bookshop. You may also be interested in our Housing rights website or to read our blog on tackling disability related harrassment (written by John Thornhill & Graham Findlay) also CIH has produced a new CIH single equality scheme which shows how we will ensure that the principles of equality and diversity continue to be an integral part of the work we do.
Measuring child poverty, CIH response to government's consultation February 2013
CIH response to HCA Equality Objectives for 2012 -2015 February 2012
CIH blog, Tackling disability related harrassment - Graham Findlay & John Thornhill
CIH response to EHRC inquiry Hidden in plain sight February 2012
CIH response to Government Equalities Office Equality Act 2010, the public sector equality duty 2010
CIH briefing on the Equality Act 2010 June 2010
CIH response to the HCA sustainability and design standards 2010
CIH response to the EHRC disability related harassment inquiry
CIH response to the Tenant Services Authority's single equality scheme 2010
CIH response to EHRC Statutory Code of Practice for services, public functions and associations 2010
CIH response to CLG single equality scheme 2010-2013 February 2010
CIH response to tackling race inequalities, a discussion document from CLG 2009
CIH response to HCA single equality scheme May 2009