The activities undertaken by OPEN HOUSE are a response to an identified need. The Equal Community Initiative Plan (CIP) identified that “in terms of economic activity, working age ethnic minority people (66%) are less likely than white people (80%) to be economically active”. The Plan also states that “Unemployment rates for ethnic minority people in GB are twice those for white people, 13% compared to 5.8%, and (they) are less likely to reach senior positions”. CIP also identifies the need to “focus attention on the fairness of employers’ recruitment and selection practices; help employers understand the economic and social arguments for race equality in the workplace; and provide employers with practical support to develop and implement effective race equality measures”.
In 2001 the Housing Corporation identified the need to encourage Black Minority Ethnic individuals into the housing sector. Housing Associations contribute significantly to the local economy via the supply chain yet have not sufficiently influenced equality and diversity through this chain.
The aims of the Development Partnership are to increase awareness of the social housing sector within Black Minority Ethnic communities to increase access to housing and employment within the sector specifically in the Tees Valley sub-region of the North East, and thereby increasing the number of BME employees in the housing sector and associated trades.
Working with the housing providers supply chain the main objectives have been to:
This Development Partnership was not involved in Round One.