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MINORITY ETHNIC HOUSING SCHEME PRAISED AS FLAGSHIP PROJECT

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First minister Rhodri Morgan has praised an innovative housing scheme in Swansea for setting an example of best pra...
First minister Rhodri Morgan has praised an innovative housing scheme in Swansea for setting an example of best practice in addressing the needs of BME (Black Minority Ethnic) Communities.

He was speaking at the official opening of the Swan Gardens sheltered housing scheme in Swansea primarily for older local people of Chinese origin.

'Until now, there has been no specialist provision of accommodation for people of Chinese origin who may have language and other difficulties and are not catered for in the community at present.

'The Chinese community is the second largest minority ethnic group in Swansea and this sensitive and innovative scheme offers all kinds of practical support for residents including Cantonese-speaking staff, interpreters, a kitchen geared to Chinese cooking methods and other features geared to the cultural needs of residents.

'Since April of this year, all local authorities and housing associations are required to have Minority Ethnic Housing Strategies and race equality schemes in place and the Welsh Assembly Government expects social landlords to take account of the needs of local minority ethnic groups. Swan Gardens is an excellent example of social landlords addressing the housing needs of people from BME communities.'

Swan Gardens sheltered housing scheme in St Helens Road, Swansea includes 23 flats with communal facilities and staff providing 24-hour support.

The Welsh Assembly Government has contributed a social housing grant of£1m toward the£2m scheme which has been developed by the Family Housing Association in partnership with the City and County of Swansea and the Chinese Co-operative.

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