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UK Housing Policy and Practice

Gypsies And Travellers

Introduction

The rights of Gypsies and Travellers to pursue their chosen way of life are enshrined in national and international legislation. However, Gypsies and Travellers have the poorest life chances of any ethnic group in the UK and face widespread discrimination. Provision of suitable accommodation has a vital role to play in supporting the long-established way of life of Gypsies and Travellers and in enabling them to have a recognised stake in society.

Our consultation at Windsor Castle in 2007 identified practical approaches to supporting Gypsies and Travellers. The results and recommendations that emerged from the Consultation were published as Out in the Open. This report identifies ways in which housing organisations, public agencies, Gypsies and Travellers and local communities can work together. It promotes respect and understanding between Gypsies and Travellers and the wider public, and suggests implementable solutions for policymakers.

Following the Consultation BSHF worked to develop and implement a number of the recommendations outlined in the report. The first of these was a review of Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments (GTAAs) in the East Midlands. This included a ‘benchmarking’ exercise for each GTAA and encouragingly, the majority of GTAAs were found to be relatively sound. This research was submitted to the consultation on the East Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy. A national review of the GTAA process by the University of Birmingham was supported by BSHF.