The Housing Needs of Black and Minority Ethnic Groups

Richard Tomlins, Malcolm Harrison, Glen Gidley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


There has been increasing recognition in recent years of black and minority
ethnic (BME) housing needs, and numerous investigations of these needs.
Housing need, however, is a complex and potentially contested concept, and
many conceptual and practical difficulties can arise for local studies. The ‘traditional’ indicators of housing need within minority communities – such as overcrowding or lack of self-contained accommodation – remain extremely important, providing continuing evidence of severe conditions. This chapter, however, looks beyond them, to include other features from the landscape of housing experiences, and to explore methodological issues. As we shall indicate, researching needs is a complicated process,which should be understood in its particular political and organisational environments. Examples below come especially from recent work in Sheffield, and from a study of the needs of communities of Vietnamese origin in London, but we also engage with broader debates. Our conclusions are that needs studies can be extremely useful, but that their limitations should be acknowledged. It can be difficult to move from needs to policy prescriptions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication"Race”, Housing and Social Exclusion
EditorsPeter Somerville, Andy Steele
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherJessica Kingsley
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)ISBN 1-85302-849-5
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Race
  • Race equality
  • social exclusion
  • social housing


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