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The Housing in Southampton website, www.housinginsouthampton.com, has been shortlisted for a brand new category in this year's Hantsweb Awards. The inaugural presentation of the Life Changing Award is included for the first time to encourage entries that promote wellbeing in the county. The Awards, to be held in February 2010, celebrate excellence in website design, accessibility and service, and recognise the best websites from organisations based in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
As part of the “Connecting Communities Project”, the website was compiled by Race and Housing in Southampton (a Black and Minority Ethnic steering group) and funded by Southampton's Social Housing Partnership, made up of Swaythling Housing Society and Atlantic, Hermitage, HydeMartlet, Testway and Western Challenge Housing Associations.
The website is Southampton based and aimed at BME and migrant communities but has a lot of useful generic information and links to new initiatives such as the new Keep Warm Hotline. There is also a forum for people to document their housing experiences, positive or negative, to help others in similar situations.
Race and Housing is the sounding board for BME housing issues across the city and works with Southampton's Social Housing Partnership to promote fairness and race equality in housing. It has been working on the Connecting Communities BME housing project since 2004, strengthening the relationship between housing providers in the city and local BME communities. The group has their own section of the website www.housinginsouthampton.com/race-and-housing.asp which gives information about the group, its achievements and its members.
Race and Housing in Southampton is always looking for volunteers to join it. Members get together once a month for two hours in a central location, with meetings being friendly and informal. For more information, please contact Radian on 0300 123 1 567.