The proportion of new social housing lets going to black and minority ethnic households in England has dropped by nearly a quarter since June 2012.
Inside Housing analysed data on lettings collected by the Communities and Local Government department and also carried out a survey of 25 of the largest housing associations. Both sets of data show the same trend.
Lets to BME households dropped from 17.3 per cent of total lets in June 2012 to 13.2 per cent in December 2013, while lets to white households rose from 75.2 to 82.3 per cent over the same period.
It’s not clear what is causing these changes and sector experts have called for further research to be carried out.
John Perry, policy advisor at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: ‘If the change is as drastic as it looks and continues, we have to be very concerned. We need some research to see why this is happening.’
A number of housing figures speculated that changes to councils’ allocation policies may be a factor.
In June 2012 councils were given new powers to change their policies and were strongly encouraged by the government to introduce local connection rules. Many also introduced priority for working households.
Mr Perry said: ‘Councils have to be very careful that allocations policies are not discriminatory.’
David Montague, chief executive of 70,000-home L&Q, said: ‘If I was to guess what the issue was, I would guess it’s changes to housing allocations policies. The sector needs to look at this in more detail.’
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