As the Government this week announced that more of its new homes will be built in North England and the Midlands, in order to be “fair” to those regions, the Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) called for it also to consider the types of homes that local authorities are building, in order to be fair to the homeless and those living in overcrowded conditions.
Muslim Professionals Forum Chair, Cllr Khaled Noor, said: “Here in East London, we are seeing a great deal of new building – but are they the right sort of homes? Most of the new developments are high rise, which militates against residents getting to know their neighbours. Research shows that Islamophobia is more frequent among those who do not know many Muslims.* Strong communities can foster greater understanding and help tackle prejudice.
“Large sections of each development are for private sale, which young Muslim Professionals often cannot afford. The new housing is then bought up by professional landlords who charge high rents – which are beyond the reach of many young Muslim Professionals too. This exacerbates over-crowding, as older children cannot move out of their parents’ homes when they want to start their own families.
“If the Government wants to show that it has a ‘fair’ policy for providing new homes, it must do more than move the location of the new homes. We urge ministers to pay urgent consideration to meeting the housing needs of urban and low paid communities, where Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people and Muslims are over-represented.”