Multi-Lingual Advice Project in Newcastle, supported by Barclays and
New Deal for Communities, aimed at addressing the acute housing
problems experienced by the city's black and minority ethnic groups.
Ethnic minority households make up nearly a third of all homelessness
acceptances in England despite comprising about 8 per cent of the total
population , and over a quarter of all BME households live in poor
housing . The charity is also revealing the devastating impact
overcrowding has on children from BME groups. Bangladeshi and Pakistani
families in particular are at least ten times more likely to live in an
overcrowded home than white families . This can lead to serious
health and education problems and many children often do not even have
room to play with friends.
Bob Finch, manager of Shelter's new project said: 'Families from BME
communities in Newcastle often have less access to appropriate housing
advice. When you bear in mind there are sometimes language barriers,
which makes it hard for BME groups to complete housing forms and even
fears of being housed in areas of racial harassment - there are serious
obstacles for many to overcome. This project is aimed at empowering
residents to make informed choices about their housing needs.'
The new service is supported by Newcastle New Deal for Communities, and
is one of over 100 projects improving life for residents in Arthur's
Hill, Cruddas Park, Rye Hill and Elswick. Programme officer Gill
Whitehead said: 'The new Shelter project will be a vital service for
hundreds of local residents. It's the latest in a string of New Deal
housing initiatives including an affordable warmth scheme and
homelessness education project led by young people in the area.'
Also funded by Barclays North East, Stella McRae, community manager
said: 'This project will go a long way in helping socially excluded
communities that desperately need advice and information. At Barclays we
are committed to communities and we are delighted to support this
project. This is a great opportunity for us to make a real and lasting
difference to the local community.'