Agudas Israel’s housing policy is vindicated

Hackney Town Hall (Photo by Étienne Godiard on Unsplash via Jewish News)
Hackney Town Hall (Photo by Étienne Godiard on Unsplash via Jewish News)

Since we started, our focus has always been to ensure that we provide appropriate social housing to those members of the Orthodox Jewish community who need it. We began as a small group of motivated individuals who saw a local need within our community and built an organisation to fill that need.

We are proud that we have worked successfully alongside Hackney Local Authority for so many years, and that hundreds of families have benefitted from our work. We have invested a huge amount into today’s judgement and it now proves, beyond any doubt, that our policies have been vindicated and protect members of our community.

The case has wider ramifications as the race directive that has previously been mentioned in relation to the JFS [admissions] case was ruled not to be applicable here, and this ruling upholds the rights of faith-based charities to prioritise members of their own faith.

If this case had gone the other way, it could have had serious ramifications for the entire faith charity sector. Whilst it was never our intention to provide more than housing for our community, I think today’s judgement means that we will have a much wider impact and that our work will enable other faith charities to continue to provide for their communities’ for the foreseeable future.

About the Author
Ita Symons is chief executive of Agudas Israel Housing Association (AIHA)