Sunday, June 23, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Housing problems plague expat Bangladeshis in London

  • A two-fifths of Bangladeshis living in very critical conditions
  • Due to inflation, the monthly installments of the home mortgage doubled 
  • House rents in the UK have risen at the fastest pace in seven years
Update : 17 Feb 2024, 09:30 AM

Among the ethnic groups in the UK, the British-Bangladeshis live in the most crowded places. And, of them, about two-fifths of Bangladeshis are living in very critical conditions. This is a significantly higher rate than all British-Asians, at 23%, according to a survey.

The housing crisis in Britain is not a new phenomenon. Gas and electricity prices have increased several times. Due to inflation, the monthly installments of the home mortgage have doubled for many; everyone is burdened with all kinds of living expenses.

On top of that, the housing crisis is not solved, and the family is suffering now to the extreme. Apart from this, in the last few years, Bangladeshis who came on student visas, work permits, and care visas have been going through more extreme hardships.

Recently, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the results of a survey, which shows that Bangladeshis living in London councils are suffering more than other ethnic minority communities in the country.

Hundreds of thousands of British-Bangladeshis have been suffering from this problem for years. Many families of four or five have been living in one room of the hostel for more than four years. Again, many parents are spending the day in one room with their adult sons and daughters.

Bangladeshi woman Yasmin Begum lives in Tower Hamlets Council. She has been living with her two children in a room outside the council for two and a half years.

Asked, this single mother told Bangla Tribune: “We are plagued with many problems here. The washroom has to be shared, the heating in the room is not working properly, and the walls are damp. My two children sleep in a bunk bed. All goods are kept outside in storage for monthly rent. I don't know when I will get a permanent house or if I will get it at all.”

The survey also found that families usually have to apply for council (bara) houses. But the waiting list to get a house took 10 years. However, the opportunity does not match. Apart from this, many people live in hostels. There is no cooking facility, and 10 people have to use one washroom.

Historically, council housing is public housing that is rented to households that are unable to afford to rent from the private sector or buy their own home. It has been called council housing due to the role of district and borough councils in managing the housing.

Around 34% of British-Bangladeshis in Britain live in government social housing schemes, seven times more than British-Indians. Moreover, 16% of British-Pakistanis live in social housing.

House rents in the UK have risen at the fastest pace in seven years, according to an ONS survey. Indian workers earn more than white British workers, at around £17.29 an hour, the study found. But Bangladeshis earn only £11.90 per hour.

Abdul Kadir, a housing and mortgage consultant for the Bangladeshi community in Britain, told Bangla Tribune that most Bangladeshis work in low-paid jobs in Britain. Therefore, the impact of the housing crisis on them is severe. In the case of private rented houses, the rent is several times higher.

Councillor Ahid Ahmed, former deputy mayor of Tower Hamlets Council, said the continued increase in gas, water, electricity, and council tax has made public life unbearable. The housing crisis affects people's physical and mental health.

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