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Looking to the future: Changing black and minority ethnic housing needs and aspirations

This paper examines the housing needs and aspirations of England’s largest black and minority ethnic populations. It sets out to identify how changes in demographic, spatial and economic factors are likely to affect the demand for affordable housing from black and minority ethnic populations in the future. The paper explores the ways in which minority ethnic households’ needs and preferences are changing, how they differ from those of white Britons and what kind of affordable housing provision may be required in the future to ensure that these needs will be adequately met.

Key messages:

  • The black and minority ethnic populations, and their proportion of England’s overall population, are growing. The demand for affordable housing from black and minority ethnic households is likely to increase in the future
  • High house prices, together with tightened credit regulations and lending criteria, have made it increasingly difficult for newly formed households to access home ownership. This may lead to lower home-ownership rates in the future, especially among Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations
  • The locational preferences of black and minority ethnic households are changing, but fear and threat of racism continue to restrict black and minority ethnic households’ area choice
  • Although cultural preferences regarding the design of the dwelling continue to exist, preferences are generally influenced more by household size and type than by ethnicity per se
  • Bilingual and culturally sensitive services are of great importance, especially to recent migrants and to older people born outside the UK. The demand for culturally sensitive services for older people is likely to increase as England’s black and minority ethnic populations grow and age.


  • Changing demographics
  • Changing tenure patterns
  • Changing locational preferences
  • Needs or cultural preferences?
  • Increasing demand for culturally sensitive services for older people
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Author(s): Sanna Markkanen
Briefing series: Better Health Briefing Paper 11
Publisher: Race Equality Foundation
Publication date: February 2009