MigrationWork News

Tackling housing deprivation as a key to the better integration of Muslims

35% of Muslim households are overcrowded, lack at least one bedroom, do not have central heating or have to share a kitchen or bathroom. In the total population, the figure is 13%: a lot of housing deprivation for a rich country like Britain, but significantly lower. And no other faith group has similar levels of deprivation.

Segregation has been identified as a problematic choice made by Muslim communities. The evidence, however, is that minority ethnic and religious segregation is decreasing and not increasing. Most neighbourhoods are becoming more and not less diverse, including those with large minority ethnic populations. But even if we frame residential segregation as a problem, the question of what causes it is far from clear, and what evidence there is points away from it being the product of a simple choice about preferred neighbours.

So a key to the better integration of Muslims is a sustained focus on dealing with the causes of housing deprivation and any integration policies aimed at Muslims that fail to address the wider issue of the failed housing market and action to reduce and tackle Islamophobia will also fail.

» MigrationWork director Sue Lukes and Nigel de Noronha write about Housing and Integration in Our Shared British Future: Muslims and Integration in the UK (PDF, p60) by the Muslim Council of Britain.

Leave a comment

Preview your comment first, then submit.