Among Sanctuary’s core values are diversity and integrity. These values aren’t just rhetoric, they are standards that we hold ourselves to. We continually strive to live up to them and take allegations of discrimination or even of poor practice very seriously. They offer an opportunity to learn and potentially improve.
A story has been featured in the media regarding a black resident living in one of our private sector properties who contacted us to say they felt they had experienced racial discrimination in that they were paying more rent per month than their white neighbour. We take such allegations extremely seriously.
We reviewed our records and have found that these are two leases granted at different points in time on different terms. In addition, because of an administrative error, we didn't increase the neighbour's rent when we should have done thereby exacerbating the difference.
This explains the difference in amounts and we have found no evidence to date that discrimination nor unconscious bias played a part in the letting or management of the leases. But, given that our values matter to us, we want to be absolutely sure that this case was not, nor can even be perceived to be, discriminatory.
So we are investing in an independent, external case review to test for discrimination or unconscious bias. The case review will report directly to the Group Chief Executive and we are keen to explore whether we can learn from this.
We are working to ensure that our people, our stakeholders and, above all our customers, can have complete confidence in our practices, motives and values. We recognise being anti-racist isn’t just about not discriminating, it’s about actively changing the status quo to create a more equal and inclusive society.