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The concept of human rights 

From my understanding everybody has the right to have a safe, clean, dry and affordable home.

Well, naivety is not a gift in the UK. 

Indeed, what was I thinking when I confidently assumed that it is a human right to expect a minimum of decency when it comes to housing in the UK. At first, I felt sad by the realisation that I was wrong, then I was depressed because it means that I will have to deal with uncaring and forceful landlords who are only looking to benefit from their “investments”. 

I then became angry, very angry!!! I even prayed upon Shehulk to give me the strength to stay calm. 

Indeed, right now there is a sale frenzy on the housing market due to the consequences of a “bad” economy. Some landlords lost money because of the job loss that hit the general population. 

 

Although I understand that losing money can be hard, it seems that those property owners forgot that everyone is suffering and everyone needs a place to live anyway. Yes, dear owners! People need a decent place to sleep, store their belongings and food, eat, make love, cook, play with their pets, bond with their children, work from home, exercise or watch Netflix etc…

This is not new and this will not change any time soon!!!

The search for the truth 

In the mix of all this mess I wanted to know more about accessing the property ladder for myself in the hope that it may provide me with some kind of freedom. This involves understanding all the mortgage and tax rates jargon BUT guess what? 

 

As a BAME, I have less chances to access the property market as a buyer. Not to my surprise BAME’s do not have the finance to buy their own home because ““People continue to hire in their likeness – they recruit from the same small pool of candidates who went to the same small pool of universities and have the same background.” This means that ” Of 100,000 employees, 10% identify as Asian and only 1% as black” (Osborne, 2020)

This has huge consequences for the black community. English Housing Survey 2017 to 2018 found that Black African (20%) and Arab (17%) ethnic groups had the lowest rates of home ownership in comparison almost three-quarters of Indian households were homeowners, as were 68% of white British households. (Osborne, 2020)

The shock of those figures are hard to swallow and I need to open my eyes thus be realistic by acknowledging that racism and discrimination hit everywhere and everyday when you are a black female or man. Thus I feel annoyed and helpless when my landlord decides to sell the property I am currently renting because I have no other choice to move out if a Section 21 is served. 
The most frustrating aspect of the situation is that a sale viewing was organised for a white couple without even giving me a 24h notice on Saturday 3rd July 2021. 
Despite my surprise, I let the viewers in! 
The following week the same couple agrees to a second visit , this time with their daughter.
And as entitled and uncaring as they are, they have nothing else to say than  “I don’t know about that” when answering my question about my family leaving the property. They, however, confirmed that they will live in the flat and I felt fairly confident that the purchase is for their daughter. 
A Psychological syndrome 

                                             [Feeling Good MN. (n.d.)]  

“Otegha Uwagba is a writer and the founder of 

Women Who says “Why aren’t we doing the same thing with mandatory disclosures around the ethnicity pay gap as we have around the gender pay gap? Racism is a really ugly part of British history that people just don’t want to face up to.” (Osborne, 2020)

 

And on that note, I will add that it is not just racism, it is a lack of respect and empathy that is pathological which does take a heavy toll on black people’s ability to grow financially, emotionally, physiologically and psychologically. 
By buying the property, this couple forces me to organise a move thus paying for the removal, money that I do not have, this puts my family more at risk to get infected by the covid-19. Also, we will lose our stability which was recently restored  as we have been renting this place for a little bit more than 2 years. 
Finally, my child is going to a nearby college and has only 1 year left before going to university. Moving means changing all our habits, creating financial hardship and uncertainty that we do NOT need. 

For the white couple who think that they are doing a good deed to their “precious” daughter I will say that your money does not give you the right to put my child and I at higher risk to get infected by the covid-19 or to throw us on the street like garbage. You can buy another EMPTY property  so that you will not force a family to face homelessness during a pandemic that is not even over yet, during a summer holiday!!!😒

😠

🙊

 

Frederique 

 

Reference

Osborne, H. (2020). Financial inequality: the ethnicity gap in pay, wealth and property. The Guardian. [online] 20 Jun. Available at: 

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jun/20/financial-inequality-the-ethnicity-gap-in-pay-wealth-and-property.

Pictures
.1 Artist : Khacem Louis Dit Sully 
Feeling Good MN. (n.d.). Did You Know? – Structural Racism. [online] Available at: https://www.feelinggoodmn.org/latest-news/2020/october/did-you-know-structural-racism/ [Accessed 15 Jul. 2021].