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Why is Community and Housing Diversity Important?

Community and Housing Diversity is the measure of diversity in a given community or a housing community in relative to the representation of different diverse groups. While diversity can mean many types of Diversity, community diversity is usually associated with race or ethnicity diversity. You can also visit our why diversity is important article.

Neighbourhoods matter to the well-being of children and families. They are the locus for an essential public and private services, with schools perhaps the most significant. Quality grocery stores, reliable child care, safe after-school activities, and healthy recreational facilities also shape the quality of life a neighbourhood offers its residents. Neighbours help transmit the norms and values that influence behaviour and teach children what is expected of them as they mature.

A diverse community or housing environment may contain a health mix of one or more of the following:

  • Black (e.g., African, American, Caribbean, West Indian, etc.)
  • Indigenous (e.g., First Nations, Métis, Inuk, Indigenous persons whose origins are Central/South American, Australian Indigenous, Maori, Amer-Indian, Mexican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, Chilean)
  • Caucasian/White
  • East/South East Asian/Pacific Islander (e.g., Chinese, Fijian, Korean, Japanese, Polynesian, Burmese/Myanmarese, Filipino, Cambodian/Kampuchean, Indonesian, Laotian, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, etc.)
  • Latin/Hispanic (e.g., Central American, North American, South American, etc.)
  • Middle Eastern/Northern African (e.g., Afghani, Arab, Armenian, Egyptian, Iranian, Iraqi, Israeli, Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian, Syrian, Turkish, etc.)
  • South Asian (e.g., Bangladeshi, Indian (India), Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, etc.)
  • Mixed race or multiracial (with one parent in one of the groups listed above)

However, community or housing diversity doesn’t always guarantee positive outcomes. In fact, some
Promoting Neighborhood Diversity: Benefits, Barriers, and Strategies 5 analysis suggests that residents of ethnically diverse neighborhoods exhibit lower levels of trust, altruism, and community cooperation than residents of homogeneous neighborhoods (Putnam 2007; Stolle, Soroka, and Johnston 2008)

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About the author

Susanne Ricee

Susanne Ricee is the Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Researcher at Diversity for Social Impact. Sue brings over 15 years of HR and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion consultation experience.
Sue's previous experience includes Microsoft, Target, and Kraft. Sue is also the manager of Diversity Leadership Directory