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The pandemic has made it clear that housing is England’s greatest divide | Owen Hatherley

Coronavirus has highlighted the gap between owners and tenants – and how politicians are failing to close it

The country’s “divisions” over Brexit have been discussed to death as a signifier of two distinct and opposed cultures, but there is one issue above all others that is the most reliable indicator of political allegiances: housing. Though home ownership has been declining, it remains the condition of the majority of people in England. Whether you own or rent your home is a surer indication of voting preferences than your age: a tenant in their 60s is no more likely to vote Conservative than one in their 30s.

The pandemic has made inequalities between owners and renters even clearer. It’s now well known that working-class people from ethnic minorities have been the worst affected by coronavirus – a fact that is closely related to housing. Harpreet Aujla, a planning caseworker at Southwark Law Centre, says a “greater proportion” of black and minority-ethnic residents in the south London borough are living in “temporary accommodation and insecure accommodation”, where there’s a higher likelihood of catching the virus and a lower possibility of making a good recovery.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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