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Many people are worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how this could affect their housing. Click here to find out what COVID-19 means for you.

Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

Lots of our advice is the same regardless of your ethnicity, but there are some areas that affect Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities disproportionately compared to others.

What do I need to know?

  • Being treated differently or unfairly because of your ethnicity, race or skin colour can cause fear and anxiety
  • There are laws in place to protect you
  • If you feel that you are being harassed or subjected to racial abuse, its important that you get advice. You can also report racial abuse to the police as a hate crime.

I don’t feel safe in the area that I live in, what can I do?

You have the right to feel safe in your home, and the area in which you live.

If you are living in rented accommodation that is provided by your local council and feel unsafe because of racial hate, then you should report this to your local housing office.

Explain the reasons why you feel unsafe. The council should look at your circumstances and decide whether or not the accommodation is suitable for you to continue living there.

If you disagree with the council’s decision, get advice immediately.

I am homeless, what do I do?

If you have nowhere to stay, you should contact your local council’s housing department and ask to make a homelessness application. The council may have to help you find temporary accommodation, whilst they look at your application.

Take a look at our step-by-step guide to find out what will happen when you make a homelessness application.

Any emergency or temporary accommodation the council give you must be suitable and  you should feel safe from racial hate or abuse.

It is really important that you tell the council about your needs and any concerns that you have. If you do not think the accommodation is suitable you can ask the council to look at it again but you should not refuse an offer without getting advice first. Otherwise they may not have to offer you anything else.

If you find it difficult to talk about your concerns with the council, try to take someone you trust with you to any appointments.

Read more about how the council can help you if you are homeless here.

In the meantime, you could ask a friend if you can stay with them while you sort out a place. If you do manage to stay with a friend, you should  still be classed as homeless.

I think I am being harassed by my landlord, what can I do?

Landlord harassment is a criminal offence and it is unlawful for a landlord to evict you without following the right legal process.

Harassment can be anything that your landlord does intentionally or indirectly  to upset your life or to make you leave your property. It can include:

  • cutting off or restricting gas, electricity or water supply
  • visiting your home regularly without warning
  • interfering with your post
  • threatening you
  • entering your home when you are not there, without your permission
  • beginning disruptive repair works and not finishing them
  • harassing you because of your gender, race or sexuality
  • asking you personal questions about your identity, race or religion
  • making comments that are offensive or racist.

There are practical steps you can take:

  • write to or email your landlord or letting agent to tell them to stop harassing or threatening you
  • tell them they are acting unlawfully and if it continues you will take legal action
  • have a friend or adviser with you whenever you have to deal with your landlord in person.

Contact the police if your landlord makes you feel unsafe in your home, uses racist language, threatens you with violence or is violent.

If you are worried about your safety, call 999 immediately.

Read more about harassment here.

I often have to translate for an adult who does not speak English, what help can I get?

If you are a young person who acts as interpreter for an adult, for example by going with them to appointments, then you may be classed as a young carer. Take a look at our young carers advice page for more information.

Where can I get more help and support?

If you are worried that racism is affecting your mental health, Young Minds has some practical advice and help.

Ethnic Minorities Youth Support Team (EYST) provides support for Black, Asian and minority ethnic families and individuals.

BAWSO provides support and help to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, victims and people affected or at risk of domestic abuse and all forms of violence.

Henna Foundation offers support to Muslim women and their families.

Use our Support Near You search tool to find other services in your area.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

Did you find this helpful?

This page was last updated on: November 17, 2021

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

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