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LOW BLACK AND ETHNIC MINORITY REPRESENTATION IN SCOTS TENANTS GROUPS

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A survey carried out by the Race Equality for Tenant's Organisations ...
A survey carried out by the Race Equality for Tenant's Organisations

project, has revealed that there continues to be very little black and

minority ethnic involvement in Scottish tenant's groups.

Only 3% (4 out of 122) of group of respondents reported any black and

minority ethnic membership, and only 34% of the same group had any plans to

try and increase black and minority ethnic involvement. Work done by the

CRE in 1993 had shown little black and minority ethnic involvement, and

guidance was issued to tenants groups at the time, in an attempt to

encourage and support action to remedy the situation.

Project officer Ricardo Rea said:

'Four out of ten groups who responded said that black and minority ethnic

involvement had never been raised as an issue in their groups, and I suppose

this begs the question about the other 60%: If the issue has been raised,

why is involvement still so low? The survey's other results taken together

indicate a lack of awareness on the issue and a lack of importance assigned

to it if it has been recognised.

'The results confirm the size of the task, especially as we are aware of the

existence of some 466 tenants groups across Scotland. Since the survey was

carried out, we have been busy: We have trained over 100 people from

Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and other areas. We will be extending

the work to the Dundee area, and the highlands this autumn.

'Scotland has an increasingly diverse ethnic and cultural mix, and it is

vital that we all work together to benefit from this by making sure everyone

has a real chance of being included: At a pivotal time like this, with the

possibility of mass stock transfers, and the new Housing Act, no one should

underestimate the importance of getting meaningful black and minority ethnic

involvement in tenants' groups'.

Positive Action in Housing which hosts this unique project, hopes that the

work will receive funding beyond March 2002, from the Scottish executive to

continue to promote racial equality issues amongst Scottish tenants

organisations, as part of an integrated strategy on tenant involvement being

examined under the new Housing (Scotland) Act.

Notes

1. Planned stock transfers, makes the input of tenants' groups and

organisations more important and valuable than ever before, especially as

tenant participation is a concern of the new Housing (Scotland) Act. One

the challenges these groups face, is their ability to include and empower

black & minority ethnic tenants, and embrace diversity.

2. The provisions of The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 will put new

duties on organisations like tenants groups who carry out 'public

functions'.

3. The Scottish executive is providing funding for this project until March

2002.

4. An 'implementation group' has been set up at the Scottish executive to

look at how the new Act's tenant participation section should be

realised, but this has not yet meet with a purely tenant's organisation in

its membership, or PositiveAction in Housing.

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