AN organisation which manages homes in Keighley is calling on the Prime Minister to tackle housing imbalances.

Bosses of Manningham Housing Association – which manages more than 1,400 properties, for over 6,000 residents, in Keighley and Bradford – say structural inequalities have been highlighted by the coronavirus outbreak and further underlined by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The association was founded in 1986 in direct response to research which revealed that the housing needs of people of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin in Bradford district were not being addressed.

Now, chief executive Lee Bloomfield says a range of new studies show that Covid-19 is having a disproportionately adverse impact on the BME population.

Over 80 per cent of the association's residents are of South Asian origin, but the organisation caters for people from all ethnic backgrounds.

“There is a clear appreciation in Whitehall of the need for significant national investment in new affordable homes but this requires different approaches for different areas – it cannot be a case of ‘one size fits all’," said Mr Bloomfield.

“If the Government is serious about addressing the housing shortage in Bradford and Keighley – and given the fact that BME families often live in overcrowded properties – there must be a drive to build many more larger family homes."

The association's chairman, Barrington Billings, says the Government should "properly empower" community-focused organisations to enable them to play a full part in delivering more homes.

He added: "The increased social awareness of structural inequality that the Black Lives Matter movement has raised feeds into the key messages we have long sought to convey to the Government.

“Black Lives Matter is not about one section of the community having dominance over another. It is about correcting imbalances which have become even more obvious because of Covid-19."