Housing Bill moves closer to law as Equalities Commission warns of “discrimination”

17 March 2016

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has supported an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill which would address possible detrimental impact on Gypsies and Travellers. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, has also put his name to this amendment.

 The Housing Bill – which removes the duty on councils to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers is at Committee stage in the House of Lords today.

On Sunday many Gypsies and Travellers and the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit joined thousands of demonstrators to protest about the Housing Bill, which critics say will destroy affordable social housing in this country.

A spokesperson for the EHRC said:                              

“We recognise the difficult balance local authorities must strike in ensuring appropriate site provision for Traveller communities and managing the impact on local residents, but our research shows the most frequently cited barrier to the provision of Gypsy and Traveller sites is objections from councillors and local residents. Without a statutory requirement on local authorities to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers, we are concerned that these communities will continue to experience severe discrimination and hardship.”

Read the full EHRC briefing on the amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill by following this link: