Digitalised social housing services and non-voluntary mobility and immobility of minoritised ethnic communities in the UK

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Non-voluntary mobility among minoritised ethnic communities is evidenced through both the disproportionate representation of these communities in the private rented sector (PRS) (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 2020; Scottish Government, 2021), as well as the higher rates of individuals threatened with eviction among these communities (38%) compared to white British or Irish background (28%) (Generation Rent, 2023). Further, reinforcing the involuntary nature of mobility in the PRS, Bramley et al (2022) has established that race, ethnicity and discrimination-related factors can heighten the likelihood of being a renter rather than an owner. Other evidence of non voluntary mobility is indicated through intensive regeneration projects in areas with a high proportion of minoritised ethnic communities which compel individuals to leave these areas (Latin Elephant, 2021; Román-Velázquez and Hill, 2016). Disturbingly, these manifestations of involuntary mobility co-exist with involuntary immobility as evidenced through persistently high rates of over-crowding and living in poor housing conditions, with Bangladeshi (24%), Pakistani (18%) and Black African (16%) households experiencing the highest levels compared to White British (2%) (Shankley and Finney, 2020; English Household Survey, 2020). Currently, the extent to which these involuntary mobility and immobility patterns interact with each other is not known. Qualitative research into the impact of digitalising social housing services undertaken with 100 minoritised ethnic individuals indicate formidable barriers to engagement, including digital poverty, limited digital literacy and the need for language support, and suggest that the shift to digitalisation may be replicating or aggravating current patterns of involuntary mobility and immobility.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Sept 2023
EventUK Housing and Non-Voluntary Mobilities Workshop: Intersections of Housing and Non-Voluntary Mobilities in the UK: Defining a Research Agenda - Brady Arts Centre, 192-196 Hanbury Street, London E1 5HU, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Oct 202310 Oct 2023


WorkshopUK Housing and Non-Voluntary Mobilities Workshop
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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