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.
- Equalities watchdog heads off BNP rumours as study finds only 1.8% of social tenants have moved to the UK recently.
- Only 11 per cent of migrants over the last five years live in social housing, the report said.
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".
- "All of this is no substitute for building more homes."
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:
- 90 per cent of those in social housing are UK born.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- More than 60 per cent of new migrants to the UK over the last five years are housed in private rented accommodation.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Indicative of the BNP policy and who is British and who isn't (and indeed The Mail colluded in this quite recently too)