Five: Citizen aspirations: women, ethnicity and housing

Housing policy is focused on increasing housing supply, improving existing neighbourhoods, managing community relations, and increasing consumer choice. For effective implementation of these policies, it is important to understand how people make choices about where they live, who makes these choices, and what those choices are for different groups of people. This chapter explores the extent to which local-governance actors understand these choices and meet the needs of citizens – in particular, women and minority ethnic communities. The study is based on semi-structured interviews with 94 white and south Asian (Bangladeshi and Pakistani) British women from three districts in the UK: Birmingham, Bradford, and Tower Hamlets. By focusing on women and second-generation migrants, it highlights the need for a broader perspective of householders and how they make decisions, and a more flexible understanding of ‘minority’ needs. The chapter discusses the findings of the research in relation to the policy context, and highlights several challenges for local-governance actors.

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