Social housing is a movement grounded in a commitment to tackle injustice and inequality. These are our roots and continue to be the values that motivate us today. But strong values are not enough to lead to fair outcomes.
The global reaction to the murder of George Floyd is a moment that demands honest reflection and listening. Our duty is to ensure that reflection leads to action and to lasting change. At the National Housing Federation (NHF), we are listening carefully - to staff, our Equality Diversity and Inclusion in Housing member group, and to sector leaders who are working for change.
We commit to doing more as an employer and as a sector to fight racism, champion diversity and achieve greater equality.
As an employer, next week the NHF will publish our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, which is designed to hold us to account and to deliver a more diverse organisation. We want to become a more diverse organisation. Staff from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds currently only represent 14% of the NHF workforce. One of our commitments is for BAME staff to make up at least 30% of our organisation. To make this happen we know we need to do more to recruit diverse staff, especially at more senior levels.
As the sector’s trade body, we know we must be a driving force for change. We are proud to have established our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Housing member group, made up of dedicated housing association professionals working with us to show leadership and drive action on this critical issue. This group is taking forward an action-focused programme of work to foster leadership, improve communication, better use data, foster innovation and use governance as a tool to improve equality and diversity within the social housing sector, and drive change.
We work with BME National, a collective of BME housing associations in England, and BME London, a collective of specialist housing organisations in London. BME housing associations have played a huge role in society, pushing issues of race and equality into the mainstream and changing the housing landscape.
Our focus at this time of crisis is to push for a housing-led national recovery. While we work on this, we need to make sure that people who experience disadvantage in their lives are not further disadvantaged by the economic and social impact of coronavirus, especially BAME communities who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
We know we have more to do, both as an employer and as a trade body. We all have a role to play in taking the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda forward. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and we commit to take action ourselves to bring about change.