Revealed: How 500,000 immigrants have been given social housing in last decade as number of families on waiting list hits record high
- 1.8million families are now on the waiting list on social housing
- Nearly 470,000 of the 4 million migrants who arrived in the last ten years were given council homes
- David Cameron launched plans to give local people priority on waiting lists
- Clampdown will see migrants only become eligible for social housing after two years in the UK
Nearly half a million immigrants have been given taxpayer-funded homes over the past decade.
The revelation comes as the number of families on the waiting list for social housing hits a record 1.8million. Most are British born.
Of the four million migrants who arrived between 2001 and 2011, 469,843 were allocated council or housing association properties.
New figures reveal 469,843 of the 4million migrants who arrived in the UK between 2001 and 2011 were given council homes
Around 1.2million foreigners now live in social housing – one in eight of the total. In London the figure is thought to be as high as one in five.
The national census statistics, which were released yesterday, highlight fears about increased pressure on public services when Romanians and Bulgarians win free access to jobs in this country in January.
The figures also show the effects of the large-scale immigration encouraged by the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown governments.
According to the census, 105,506 of the immigrants who found social housing after 2001 were from Eastern European states that joined the EU in 2004, most of them Poles.
In the mid-2000s, Whitehall officials estimated that the cost to taxpayers of maintaining a single social housing unit was £620 a year.
Assuming each unit is occupied by four people, that would put the housing costs of post-2001 migrants at between £5billion and £8billion.
Sir Andrew Green, of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘The figures serve to underline the huge costs of mass immigration – costs often ignored by the immigration lobby.’
In 2009, a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission claimed there was ‘no evidence to support the perception that new migrants are getting priority over UK-born residents’.
National census statistics chart the rise in Eastern European immigrants given social housing after 2001. More than 100,000 were from states that joined the EU in 2004, mostly Poles
Census figures from the last decade reveal the effects of the large-scale immigration encouraged by Tony Blair (left). In March, David Cameron (right) launched plans to prioritise local people on social housing waiting lists
The research found no evidence of abuse of the system such as queue jumping or providing false information.
But in March David Cameron announced a clampdown, including plans for a local residence test.
Local people will be given priority on waiting lists for social housing and migrants will become eligible only after two years.
Councils say the fundamental flaw in the plan is they will still be obliged to help any EU migrants who present themselves as homeless.
Mike Jones, of the Local Government Association, says: ‘If we don’t house them that means we are going to have to deal with them under the homeless laws which cost us a great deal more.’