Here We Go Again

Steve Doughty has been at it again. Today's Mail has the startling headline, 'One in ten state-subsidised homes goes to an immigrant family'. Seems familiar. I remember looking at 2007 EHRC figures before. This said a lot about this public perception fuelled by sections of the media where it was apparent that the figures did not bear out the headline scares.

A few initial points:

  • Given that about 8% of the population (2001 Census) were from abroad, isn't this broadly in line with the current percentage?
  • Do the figures include (as immigrants) families where,say, one parent was born abroad but the the other is British?
  • Do the figures suggest that immigrants are getting priority over others.
The Guardian answers the last question:
  • Equalities watchdog heads off BNP rumours as study finds only 1.8% of social tenants have moved to the UK recently.
The Mail concentrates on this bit: (strange to say only when it is above the figure in the headline):
  • Only 11 per cent of migrants over the last five years live in social housing, the report said.
Of course this won't alter perceptions. Today's phone-in on Radio Merseyside was 'swamped' by three versions of the IMNARB species. If you get the chance try to listen to the Tuesday (7/7/09) programme here. (It doesn't always work properly and is only available for 7 days).

The main players are Ken (I fought in the war) from Grassendale, Gary (mass immigration is more than one) and Jean ( I'll ask you a question but won't let you answer) from Garston. Priceless, but not a little worrying given that their barking, irrational and offensive views are supported by others.

An interesting comment coming out of this is from John Healey, Housing Minister who states:
  • (the belief that immigrants were favoured in the allocation of council homes was) "largely a problem of perception".
He also comes up with a solution:
  • "All of this is no substitute for building more homes."
This seems a bit tardy from a Government which has had power for 12 years and could have initiated a social housing programme to undo the effects of the great Thatcherite council house sales when local authorities were prevented from using the funds raised to build new properties.

The BNP has found this to be a useful tool. In one area they leafleted they claimed that immigrants were taking up nearly all of the new allocations but this was refuted by the Council itself who indicated that, in fact, only a few had been given to migrants.

The 2007 figures cropped up when I attacked a comment by the famous Jean of Garston (see above) in October 2008. She had made the glib comment that 85% of council housing went to immigrants. My email was as follows:
  • Further to your penultimate caller to today's lunch time show - Jean de Garston, I have been trying to obtain some figures relating to the claim she made about immigrants and social housing. I am used to the lady spouting bigoted tripe about her favourite subject, yet she started off reasonably today until she slipped in the 85% quote. Whilst she said that she did not want to pursue the matter further, I feel that if the matter is left it will give succour to extremists as perception becomes fact like a Daily Mail smear story, and exceptional cases like the Afghani family will be seen as representing the norm.
    Although there appears to be no exact data relating to her claim of 85% of properties being allocated to immigrants (I think that is what she was getting at), there is a study conducted by IPPR for Channel 4's Dispatches in Sept 2007. The links are provided below.
    The study considered the effects of immigration on the economy and country as a whole, but there is a section on social housing (p. 31 of pdf)
    • Table 5.13. Proportion of population living in social housing, by country of birth,


      Rank by Country of birth

      Living in local authority or housing association housing

      1= Australia 5%; 1= France 5%; 1= USA 5%

      4= Poland 8%; 4= India 8%; 4= South Africa 8%; 4= Canada 8%

      8 China 9%

      9 Italy 10%

      10 Kenya 12%

      11 Sri Lanka 14%

      12= Pakistan 15%; 12= Philippines 15%

      14 Cyprus 16%

      15 UK 17%

      16 Zimbabwe 20%

      17= Republic of Ireland 21%; 17= Uganda 21%

      19 Nigeria 29%

      20 Iran 33%

      21 Jamaica 35%

      22 Ghana 39%

      23 Portugal 40%

      24 Bangladesh 41%

      25 Turkey 49%

      26 Somalia 80%

      Source: LFS and ippr calculations

The figures do not give a concrete indication of the actual migrant percentage only data for each individual nation. However, it is clear that the 85% figure is not possible given the relative sizes of the population. Again this is in line with perceptions on the net effect of immigration on population rises.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission refers to the study:

  1. 90 per cent of those in social housing are UK born.
  2. Most new migrants to the UK over the last five years, particularly from the new European Union member states such as Poland, have been ineligible to claim entitlement to social housing.
  3. There is no evidence in the research thus far of any abuse of the system including ‘queue jumping’ to the significant detriment of any group, including white families.
  4. 11 per cent of new migrants have been allocated social housing. The comparable figure for UK born residents is 17 per cent, and for all foreign born UK residents is 18 per cent indicating that though some migrants do benefit from social housing, they are unlikely to do so until they have been settled for several years and become British citizens; and that they are not significantly more likely to benefit than other residents.
  5. More than 60 per cent of new migrants to the UK over the last five years are housed in private rented accommodation.
  6. In an LGA survey of housing managers, two out of three said that they attributed the shortage of social housing in their area to high house prices. 6 per cent said that the reason for shortages is new migration.
  7. Perceptions that migrants displace UK-born social housing applicants may arise from the fact that much of the private rented housing which is now home to many newly arrived immigrants is former social housing stock. Local residents may believe it is still ‘owned by the council’ despite it now being in the private sector.

EHR Summary (Word doc)

Interestingly, the BNP today use some of the figures to claim:
  • A report entitled “Britain’s Immigrants, An economic profile”, produced by the IPPR in September 2007 for Class Films and Channel 4 Dispatches, shows that huge numbers of immigrants living in Britain are in social housing, contrary to the EHRC’s claims.

    The IPPR report shows that 80% of Somalis, 49% of Turks, 41% of Bangladeshis, 39% of Ghanaians, 35% of Jamaicans, 33% of Iranians, 29% of Nigerians, 21% of Ugandans, 20% of Zimbabweans, 15% of Filipinos, 15% of Pakistanis, 14% of Sri Lankans, 12% of Kenyans, and 9% of Chinese immigrants live in public housing.

The BNP does not highlight the issue of allocation by need, which will mean that certain migrant groups may suffer more unemployment than others, but it is noticeable that the BNP only concentrates on the higher figures. What a surprise.

Indicative of the BNP policy and who is British and who isn't (and indeed The Mail colluded in this quite recently too)

Part of the problem is public stupidity - fuelled, as I said earlier by the usual suspects - and revved up with personal bigotry. As with crime figures, the word 'migrant' is used with a wink to mean non-white even though other nationalities are included.


Anonymous said...

Independent and respected think thank Migrationwatch has confirmed the accuracy of the British National Party’s analysis that immigrants are given priority over indigenous British people in the social housing ladder.
Writing on the Migrationwatch website, that organisation’s chairman, Sir Andrew Green, said that the facts showed that “white working-class people were indeed being leapfrogged by new arrivals with large families.”
Under a heading called “At last, the truth about immigration and council house queue jumping,” Sir Green said the Government’s announcement that they are handing councils new powers to give local people priority on the waiting list for social housing “is a clear admission that they have been misleading us over the huge impact of immigration on housing.”

Pointing out that the supply of social housing has fallen far behind the demand because waiting lists have grown by over 60 percent in six years, Sir Green said that one of the major reasons is the “number of asylum seekers who have been granted asylum - or other forms of protection which entitle them to remain in Britain - and offered social housing.

“Politicians frequently assure us that asylum seekers do not get social housing. This is true up to a point, as they are given private rented accommodation at public expense while their cases are decided.
“Astonishingly, over the past ten years the Government has granted more asylum seekers permission to stay in Britain than they have actually built social housing for. So, inevitably, the waiting lists have got ever longer.

“So who on these bulging lists actually gets a council house? Currently, it is decided on the basis of ‘need’ which, in turn, is heavily influenced by family size.
“And once granted residence, a migrant or an asylum seeker can bring over his entire family and thereby move up the priority list.”

“They found that the Whitehall concept of ‘need’ had, in practice, favoured Bangladeshi workers who were beginning to bring over their families.

“Young British workers with smaller families were pushed out to Essex, away from their roots and away from their parents, who stayed put in their council houses in East London.

“The outcome was that family and social bonding between Bangladeshi families was strengthened - while the traditional working-class family structure of the British workers, especially the role of grandmothers, was severely weakened. The researchers found that the white working class were seething with resentment.

“The Government rushed to assure their supporters that there was no truth in any of this, insisting that it was all down to scare tactics.

“A report was subsequently commissioned by the then Commission for Racial Equality which conveniently concluded that there was no evidence that newly arrived migrants were being allocated housing in preference to UK-born people. But that was to dodge the real issue.

“The rules for allocating social housing might have been administered scrupulously. But it was the system itself that was unfair. Little or no credit was given for the length of time people had been waiting for housing, nor for the strength of their ties to the locality.

“As a result, white working-class people were indeed being leapfrogged by new arrivals with large families. Only now have the Government been forced into long-overdue action because their own supporters are deserting them in droves,” he said.

Sir Green went on to say that it was not just social housing that has been coming under such pressure because of immigration.

“All housing has been affected - yet the Government refuse to acknowledge this, let alone discuss it,” he continued.

“This figure comes from the Government predictions of new households which are issued every two years. The latest set shows that 252,000 households will be formed every year until 2031.

eric the fish said...

"Independent and respected think thank Migrationwatch"

Well done for copying and pasting from the BNP site and also including the think thank mistake.Excellent!

Independent and respected? Only by the Mail and Odious BNP.

eric the fish said...

Btw, it seems you may be Sid 'incontinent' Williamson of Brighton.
Been on the cider again?

eric the fish said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that the BNP story calls him Sir Green! Perhaps next time you lift shite from their site you should try reading it first. I sometimes try it myself.