Cohesion and integration agendas in Britain can be characterised by localisation of ‘race relations’ responsibilities and the importance of local institutions in shaping neighbourhoods has been acknowledged. However, little is understood about the roles of housing providers in integration initiatives. Indeed, research on housing and race has experienced a lull in the 2000s. Thus, this paper aims to examine how social housing providers negotiate their positions and are complicit in constructing a certain vision of community. It draws on interviews from the ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)’s work in the ethnically diverse neighbourhoods of Cheetham Hill (Manchester), Newham (London), Butetown (Cardiff) and Pollokshields and Govanhill (Glasgow). The paper makes three arguments: first, that race and ethnicity as facets of ‘integration’ have been subsumed into broader agendas, yet remain implicit in community building; second, that housing organisation practices are often detached from local meanings of community and prioritise exclusionary activities focusing on behaviour change; and, third, that the roles of housing organisations in constructing ‘integrated’ communities are highly variable and localised, influenced by the history and contemporary dynamics of place.
Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms
- Cathie Marsh Institute