01 Jan 2015
In the UK Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are both legally recognized ethnic minority groups with a centuries old cultural tradition of nomadism. It is estimated that between one half to two-thirds of the UK’s approximately 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers live in ‘bricks and mortar’ housing, many of these against their will as a result of the national shortage of Traveller sites. Those not in housing mainly live in caravans and/or mobile homes. In England the vast majority of caravan dwelling communities (approximately 86%) live on authorised sites, with a majority of these being privately provided. Approximately 14% of Gypsies and Travellers live on unauthorised sites (land owned but without planning permission) or encampments (land not owned without planning) and are as such legally classified as homeless and often highly vulnerable.