USP academics author report on race equality in UK housing

Urban Studies and Planning academics David Robinson, Jenny Preece and Glyn Robbins have released their report: ‘Race equality in housing: a review of the policy approach in England, Scotland and Wales’.

Housing UK

There are deep-rooted ethnic inequalities in housing in England, Scotland and Wales. A new study as part of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) set out to understand how housing policy is rising to this challenge. 

The report focuses on understanding how current policy is protecting people from discrimination and how racial equality within the housing system is being advanced. Findings are based on a review of policy statements, regulatory practices and specific initiatives, and more than 20 semi-structured interviews with key policy and practice stakeholders.

Head of Department and Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at The University of Sheffield, David Robinson said: “In this study we explored a straightforward question - is housing policy in England, Scotland and Wales working to tackle discrimination and promote greater equality in the housing system? The short answer to emerge from our analysis was no, not really.”

This is an important finding. Not only are there good social justice reasons for promoting equality of opportunity, it is also a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010

Professor Robinson continued: “Attention to race equality in housing was found to have waned over recent years, particularly in England. This is despite ethnic inequalities remaining a key feature of the UK housing system.”

National policy statements in England do not recognise race equality in housing as a priority concern, whereas those in Scotland and Wales do. This commitment is not fully embedded within Scottish and Welsh policies however, and there is a recognition that greater work is required to understand and implement fairness and equality.

The study was informed by four key questions: 

  • What are the stated positions and priorities of national housing policy in relation to race equality in housing?
  • What data and evidence is available about diversity and difference in housing and the factors driving inequalities, including discrimination and racism? 
  • How does regulation of the housing system challenge discrimination and promote race equality?
  • How is race equality mainstreamed within housing policy?

Click here to read more on the CaCHE website: Race Equality in Housing: A Review of the Policy Approach in England, Scotland and Wales : CaCHE (

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.