Socialist Worker

Immigrants do not get housing priority

Issue No. 2162

Gordon Brown spun the detail of the strategy documents from the government as providing “local homes for local people”.

This is a rather cheap attempt by the prime minister to play the race card and blame immigration for lack of decent housing.

A survey by the Institute of Public Policy Research has found that 64 percent of people who arrived in the UK within the last five years live in private rented accommodation.

Just 11 percent of these new arrivals get help with housing – almost all are asylum seekers.

Most migrants rent from the private sector – and suffer some of the worst substandard housing facilities as a result. After five years, when many immigrants are able to be granted residency and become entitled to government help, just one in six live in social housing – the same proportion as those who were born in Britain.

Immigrants to the UK over the past five years make up less than 2 percent of the total number of people living in social housing.

The report, Social Housing Allocation and Immigrant Communities is available from » www.ippr.org.uk/publicationsandreports/publication.asp?id=689


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