No voice, little choice the Somali housing emergency in North and East London

Author: Hassan, M A, Lewis, H & Lukes, S

Publisher: Karin Housing Association

Publication date: January 2009

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The research report documents the dire situation particularly in housing, facing the Somali community in East London and probably in other parts of the UK.

The report states that the vast majority, at least in the Somali community, live in very cramped, overcrowded conditions or in temporary housing with severe consequences for community cohesion, children’s growth and education and health of the young and the old. This research shows the extent of the emergency facing the Somali community.

Research commissioned by Karin Housing Association has found evidence of housing deprivation so extreme as to be called an emergency among Somalis in north and east London. 158 people told researchers about the conditions in which they live, their efforts to improve them and their difficulties in accessing appropriate advice and advocacy. They talked about the effects on them and their community, especially the youth, and why they believed this had happened. The researchers also interviewed local council officers and discussed the issue with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission because many interviewees spoke of discrimination.