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BEO’s response to The Renters’ Reform Bill

BY BEO | 17/05/2023

While 68% of white British households own their homes, home ownership rates for Black community are 40% for black Caribbean and 20% for black African households. Additionally, Black African (44%), Mixed White and Black African (41%) and Black Caribbean (40%) households were most likely to rent social housing out of all ethnic groups in the UK, between 2016-2018 – this is why the Government’s announcement is of the utmost importance to Black communities across the UK.

Dr Wanda Wyporska, CEO of Black Equity Organisation said about today’s Rental Reform Bill:

“Today’s announcement of the Renter Reform Bill is welcome news to Black communities across the country as it provides some increased security for them and millions of others. The removal of Section 21 evictions and some protections on annual rent increases will help people feel more at home in the properties they live in.

Additionally, the implementation of the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector should improve the quality of housing stock but safeguards will be needed to ensure that this doesn’t increase rents even further at a time when millions are struggling already.

However, there needs to be strong scrutiny of this legislation to ensure that loopholes aren’t used to force Black people and families out of their homes for other nefarious reasons – either through excessive rent increases, bogus ‘new’ justifications or unjust allegations of anti-social behaviour which has been weaponised against Black people previously.

While the proposed reforms focus primarily on the private rental sector, it is crucial to address issues within the social housing sector as well. In many cases, vulnerable individuals and families are disproportionately affected by housing insecurity. To create a truly fair and inclusive housing system, the government must ensure that social housing tenants benefit from robust protections, affordable rents, and adequate living conditions.

As Black people are most likely to be renting social housing, there is also an urgent need for a comprehensive, long-term plan to build more social housing for people and families on low incomes.”