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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Equality and diversity

Last updated Date:20/02/2013

Equality and diversity

Latest news

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


Our view

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.

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Helpful links

Measuring child poverty, CIH response to government's consultation February 2013

CIH response to consultation on Fulfilling Potential from Office for Disability Issues March 2012

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




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Your comments

  • The article is centred on equality and diversity as it affects Housing Associations customers and public functions in the UK. According to the article, Housing plays an important role in our daily life. Because Britain are signatory to European Convention on Human Rights which has significant relevance when giving peoples protection in provision of housing by Housing Sectors. The article went further to specify that the Equality Act 2010 is compact and includes nine(9) major areas of concern about Equality. These areas which includes :Age, Gender, Sexual Orientations, Religion, Race etc. are paramount to the Public Sector Equality Duties and have been advised that "due regard" to eliminate them in exercising public function is required. Local Authorities and Housing Association has been advised to use the Localism Act 2011 to maximise flexibility to improve the diverse changes in housing need within the communities. The Chartered Institute for Housing(CIH) view on the issue does not only recognise the increase in diversity in the UK but the challenges it posses to the Housing. They are of the opinion that Housing Providers should play an important role in the promotion of Equality and diversity in Communities and Homes. The changes in regulatory and inspection framework means that the Home and Community Agency(HCA) has failed in it's previous approach to codes of guidance to support the development and sharing of best practice as outlined in the article. Housing Providers as viewed by the CIH "are Community anchors". they are the frontliners and very important in a long term community development. I agree

    Ezeagu, Julius
  • ?The main theme of the article to was to inform us about equality and diversity it highlights the 9 characteristics and the protection of them. Housing service providers need to be aware of how equality and diversity works in terms of how to offer the appropriate housing service. The leglislative information is summarised clearly and concise to give us a sufficent background on how far Britain has come in supporting the changes and implementing new amendments to support all included within the 9 characteristic groups which also shows the diversity . CIH is offering a varied platform of information on the subject and also offering an opportunity for services to user to get involved.

    McKenzie, Marsha

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