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HCA launches strategy to fix 'equality and diversity's negative association with political correctness'

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HCA launches strategy to fix 'equality and diversity's negative association with political correctness'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Legal

HCA launches strategy to combat 'equality and diversity's negative association with political correctness' HCA launches strategy to combat 'equality and diversity's negative association with political correctness'

The HCA (Homes and Communities Agency) has published a new strategy it claims will help to disassociate the term 'equality and diversity' with political correctness and box-ticking exercises.

The Agency hopes the nine aims it has come up with will "root housing equality in reality". The objectives include ensuring that the HCA’s investment meets the needs of older people, travellers and ethnic minorities.

Colin Molton, the HCA's Executive Director for the South and South West, believes that associations with political correctness are undermining the impact equality and diversity interventions can have.

Speaking at a joint event between the HCA and the NHF (National Housing Federation) in Bristol, Mr Molton said: “We should focus on the outcomes rather than the process, especially as there are very real equality challenges facing our neighbourhoods and communities today: an ageing population means a growing demand for accessible and adaptable housing for disabled and older people; and a society that is more ethnically diverse than ever before means that local authorities are increasingly looking to provide tailored accommodation, not least for Travellers who remain one of the most disadvantaged groups in the country."

Gill Payne, Director of Campaigns and Neighbourhoods at the NHF, believes that the HCA is showing a common sense approach to equality in the housing sector. She said: “The equality landscape is shifting and it is vital that housing associations continue to be aware of and embed their important responsibilities under the Equality Act. I was therefore pleased to see so many of our members in Bristol today, sharing best practice and learning from each other’s stories.”

“Through its transparent and common sense approach to equality, the HCA is setting a good example to the rest of the housing sector. The equality landscape is shifting and it is vital that housing associations continue to be aware of and embed their important responsibilities under the Equality Act. I was therefore pleased to see so many of our members in Bristol today, sharing best practice and learning from each other’s stories.”

The HCA says it is not required by law to publish an equality strategy, but has done so in the "interests of transparency".

The nine aims of the HCA's strategy are:

Promoting recognition of the value of accessible housing through its investment and enabling role

Promoting investment that meets the needs of older people

Promoting investment that meets the needs of Traveller communities

Promoting investment that meets the needs of BME and faith communities

Encouraging the participation of community/specialist providers in investment

Ensuring that the way in which the serious detriment test is implemented considers the impact on equality and diversity

Achieving a positive and fair working environment where diversity is led at all levels

Demonstrating effective diversity practice through the HCA Board, Regulation Committee and Advisory Groups

Improving the representation and visibility of disabled and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people in its workforce

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