Inside Housing – Insight – Black History Month: How the 1981 downtown riots challenged the housing association sector

[ad_1] The task force had to overlap the different interests of the sector, while making it acceptable to everyone in order for it to be a credible publication – to be recognized as the leading


[ad_1]

The task force had to overlap the different interests of the sector, while making it acceptable to everyone in order for it to be a credible publication – to be recognized as the leading opinion in the sector.

This was a difficult task, as some NFHA members felt the guide was going too far, they felt the breed was too radical and dangerous territory for them to get involved. In order to give weight and authority to the guide, the authors attempted to gain government support. Their first port of call was the Housing Corporation, the regulator at the time.

“The creation of the Housing Corporation coincided with the demise of the Colonial Office, and officials from this department were transferred to work in the new organization”

Conservative Housing Minister Keith Joseph created the Housing Corporation in 1964. This was an important part of a Conservative plan to develop a social housing sector as an alternative to local government housing provision. . The creation of the Corporation coincided with the demise of the Colonial Office, and officials from that department were transferred to work in the new organization.

According to Ken Bartlett – Deputy CEO of Housing Corporation in 1990, they did not come from the tradition of the “Shelter” that formed the backdrop for many people who had chosen to work in social housing.

When Mr. Page and his colleagues at the NFHA asked the company’s chief executive, Dick Madge, to approve the Race and Housing guide, he refused. Mr. Madge may have been reluctant to endorse the guide, but a number of his colleagues did not share his reservations. A new division had been created within the organization, headed by Mr. Bartlett after joining the Company in 1979. The Programs and Operations Division became the central nervous system of the Company.

A few observers have pointed out that it is made up of a group of socially astute people who are more progressive than some of their colleagues. They had developed a true partnership with the NFHA in their “commitment to policy developments,” as Bartlett put it.

Mr. Page recalls that after the Society refused to approve the guide, the NFHA policy team approached George Young – who was the Conservative Minister of Housing at the time. He had practical experience in housing issues and was believed to have a good understanding of racial and community issues. But he also refused them.

They then tried to get Prince Charles to approve the guide, but his office refused. So that they “Took a chance” and stealthily achieved their goal, Page recalls. They gathered photos of Prince Charles’ plans for opening up in city centers and “lifted” statements Minister Young had made on urban deprivation and housing, and incorporated them into the guide to ” give the impression that they were supporting him… the impression what you understood is that the establishment was behind it ”. It worked. The white-to-black ratio as it was known Race and Housing – A cause for concern – was published in 1982, without any expression of disaffection within the movement.

However, if the housing associations did not contest the publication of the guide, they largely ignored its content. It was received enthusiastically by city associations, many of which were already committed to equality, but many of the long-established trusts and new construction associations were completely unresponsive.

Six months after the publication of the guide, a colleague of the housing associations movement, John Clark, who at the time worked for Solon (South West), inquired about the progress, fearing that nothing was happening. The NFHA working group therefore met again and decided to conduct an investigation.

The results were depressing. Black and ethnic minority people and organizations did not believe that housing associations were working in their best interests, they saw them as distant bureaucratic organizations, unresponsive to their voices and needs.

The report had stressed the importance of ethnic surveillance and registration, but the new research also found that only 34% housing associations monitored rentals and while 50% of associations surveyed had an equal opportunities policy, only 38% had a written race policy. Black personnel made up only 4.5% of the workforce. Some observers have since commented that this was perhaps too short a period (from the publication of the 1982 report) to assess progress. However, the NFHA was concerned enough to release the results of its survey as a follow-up to the original guide. The Black on White report, as it was known, Race and housing – still a matter of concern was released in 1983.

Inside Housing will be releasing additional excerpts from Ms. Bowes’ book throughout October, further covering race and housing history in the 1980s, including the formation of Black, Asian and ethnic minorities and a changing political situation at the Housing Corporation. , in Whitehall and in the housing association movement itself

[ad_2]