Funding support extends NE ethnic minority housing initiative

Tenants First Housing Co-operative has received funding that will allow it to continue its pioneering ethnic minority housing project for a third year.

The funding, which has been received from the Lintel Trust, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Council, will enable Tenants First Housing Co-operative to provide a specialist housing information and advice service for ethnic minorities in the North East of Scotland.

The project, led for Tenants First by Alison McLaughlin, aims to break down the barriers to housing that people from ethnic minority groups may face. The service is provided to help people understand their housing options, including both social and private housing sectors.

Tenants First Housing Co-operative

In the second year of the project, Alison has assisted more than 200 people across Aberdeen City and Shire, on matters such as housing allocation and assisted with applying for housing and explaining the rights of private sector tenants. 

Commenting on the continuation of the project, Alison McLaughlin commented: 
“I am delighted funding has been secured for year three of the project. I am looking forward to building on the contacts I have made, so that I can continue to work with what are diverse and enriching communities.

“The North east is increasingly becoming one of the most diverse and multi-cultural regions in Scotland to live in, but language barriers can often cause problems with finding accommodation.

“Naturally, one of the first things people want to do when they arrive in the North east is to find somewhere to stay. But that can be very difficult in a new and often daunting country, especially if you cannot speak English.

“It is for this reason that the project is so important, everyone should have equal opportunity to housing. In doing so, the project challenges some of the myths about Ethnic Minorities.”

The ethnic Minority Housing project began more than three years ago with the production, by Tenants First, of a series of leaflets offering translation and interpretations about the co-operative in ten languages. This early initiative has been followed up and Alison McLaughlin has since established strong links with various ethnic groups, including Chinese, African and Muslim communities, through established community groups and cultural organisations.

The success of Tenants First’s scheme is confirmed by this comment from a recent user of the service:
“Alison was very helpful. She gave me advice and information about what I could do. She helped me with forms and phone calls.  I felt she was willing to do anything to help me and I was very happy to have her help.”

Tenants First is Britain’s largest housing co-operative. It has more than 1,300 properties in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus and Glasgow.

Tenants First is one of 4,753 co-operatives across the UK. Jointly they sustain more than 237,000 jobs and contribute £27.4 billion turnover to the UK economy. In the UK 10.8 million people (one in five of the population) is a member of a co-operative.

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