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Housing Associations: Appointments

Volume 705: debated on Tuesday 25 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Andrews on 6 November (WA 82–83), (a) whether the Housing Corporation has an equality scheme, as required for all public bodies; (b) whether it complies with the guidance for public authorities on ethnic monitoring; (c) why they are not aware of the ethnic identity of the three individuals appointed to the governing body of the black and minority ethnic-led Presentation Housing Association; and (d) how the corporation determines progress made when undertaking equality impact assessments and reviewing performance. [HL6219]

The Housing Corporation has a single equality scheme that outlines its arrangements for meeting its specific and general duties for race, disability and gender equality. Its current single equality scheme and previous schemes for race, gender and disability have been developed in partnership with key stakeholders in the sector as well as with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and its predecessors, including the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission.

The corporation complies with the Commission for Racial Equality’s guidance for public authorities on ethnic monitoring, and it monitors the profile of its employees. The corporation also sets out its expectations for housing associations to undertake ethnic monitoring in the regulatory code and in its Good Practice Note 8: Equality and Diversity.

The corporation does not monitor the ethnicity of statutory appointees. However, its regulatory framework requires all housing associations to monitor the composition of their board members. Therefore, collection of such data is the responsibility of housing associations.

The corporation requires its impact assessments to identify the potential adverse impacts of any of its relevant policies and practices. Information and data that support the impact assessment process considers a variety of factors, including identified trends, potential barriers and current performance. In all cases, assessments consider the impact of decisions on equality.