BME communities ‘crucial’ to rebuilding trust post election

“Whatever the outcome, it is surely incumbent upon the new government to represent the interests of all communities.”

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The CEO of Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has called on politicians to fully involve BME communities in the task of rebuilding public trust after the General Election.

Lee Bloomfield, who has headed MHA for almost two years, also insisted that policy commitments must be seen to be kept by the new government – particularly on housing.

As reported by 24housing, pledging the “biggest council-house programme for decades”, Labour propose to build 100,000 council homes and at least 50,000 affordable homes by the end of parliament.

It follows the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto pledge to deliver 100,000 social-rent units a year.

CEO Lee Bloomfield said: “I accept that election campaigns are abrasive, but the past few weeks have been especially antagonistic.

“Whatever the outcome on 12th December, it is surely incumbent upon the new government to represent the interests of all communities and ministers must stick to their policy pledges.

“Nowhere is this important than in relation to housing where BME communities still face considerable disadvantage.

“It remains the case that BME households are more likely to experience overcrowding, poorer quality housing, and fuel poverty.

“It is also more common for BME families to live in the most deprived neighbourhoods and in rented properties rather than owning their homes.”

According to Ipsos MORI, only 53% of BME voters turned out at the 2017 General Election, with 64% of white voters choosing to do so.

“This should be seen by politicians as a chance to engage with BME voters and properly involve BME communities in rebuilding public trust in the political process,” Bloomfield said.

As reported by 24housing, BME National – a collective of more than 45 BME housing associations – identified four areas where government action would improve the quality of life for BME citizens.

On proposals, Bloomfield added: “Working with colleagues on the BME National Executive Group, a list of policy asks were drawn up under four headings – ageing well, ending homelessness, equality of opportunity, and thriving and diverse cities.

“We also outlined precisely how BME housing associations could play an active part in helping the new government to deliver these policies.

“It must be a two-way process, and we are willing and certainly able to roll up our sleeves and get on with the job in genuine partnership.

“Politicians must be true to their word and sincere about helping people.

“Only then will public trust return, particularly within BME communities.”

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