Social housing allocation, choice and neighbourhood ethnic mix in England

Maarten Van Ham, David John Manley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    Driven by a concern about the negative side effects of ethnic concentration neighbourhoods, many European governments aim to create more ethnically and socio-economically mixed neighbourhoods. At the same time, housing policy aims to give tenants more choice in how and where they live. The objectives of these two policies might conflict as offering people choice has the potential to increase self-segregation, especially across ethnic groups. This paper studies the effect of choice-based letting on (self) segregation in housing association stock in England. We analyse whether households who let their property under choice-based letting end up in neighbourhoods with different levels of ethnic concentrations than households who are matched to a dwelling using the traditional allocation system. We focus on how the effect of choice-based letting differs for ethnic minority households and non-ethnic minority households. Using unique data on all lettings made in the housing association sector in England in 2006/2007 and an ordered logit regression model we show that ethnic minority households are more likely to let a property in an ethnic concentration neighbourhood than non-ethnic minority households. Ethnic minorities letting their property under choice-based letting are the most likely to accept a dwelling in an ethnic concentration neighbourhood.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)407-422
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


    • Social housing
    • Choice-based letting
    • Ethnicity
    • Neighbourhood
    • Ethnic mix
    • Segregation
    • England
    • Residential preferences
    • Racial segregation
    • Netherlands
    • Britain
    • Exclusion
    • Mobility
    • Context
    • Models
    • Policy


    Dive into the research topics of 'Social housing allocation, choice and neighbourhood ethnic mix in England'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this