It’s been a big week for housing specialists with an interest in discrimination and discrimination specialists with an interest in housing. On Friday, our friends at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants got their ruling from Judge Martin Spencer on the government policy requiring Landlords to verify the immigration status of tenants. The policy came into force in 2016 and the judgement found the policy caused landlords to discriminate against both black and ethnic minority British people and foreign UK residents.
Judge Spencer also ruled that rolling out the scheme in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland without further evaluation would be “irrational” and breach equality laws.
“The evidence, when taken together, strongly showed not only that landlords are discriminating against potential tenants on grounds of nationality and ethnicity but also that they are doing so because of the scheme,” Mr Justice Spencer told the court on Friday.
You can read more about it here
The government have stated their intention to appeal. you can read more about what they say here.
In the meantime the Equality and Human Rights commission have been working with the Citizens Advice Bureau to deliver a toolkit to make it easier for individuals challenge discrimination in housing. Welcome thought this is along with a sister publication about employment, this doesn’t address the real issues about the paucity of casework advice services that ensure that clients who face discrimination and need support for people who understand what they are facing and are experienced enough to take then through the barrage of letters, emails and calls from tribunal, respondents and conciliation agencies. If you would like to be part of the solution, consider volunteer for our new sessions in Wellingborough. We will also be seeking in the future volunteers in Kettering and Corby.