Nearly one in 10 social houses in the UK were given to non-UK nationals in 2014/15, official statistics reveal.
According to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government, nine per cent of new social housing tenancies from April 2014 to March 2015 went to migrants, with Eastern Europeans and non-Europeans taking roughly half and half.
This represents a repeat of the record figures from 2012/13 and 2013/14, and an increase of three per cent since the start of the decade. Over the past 10 years, nearly half a million migrants have been given social housing in Britain, accounting for around one in eight total occupants by 2013.
Labour MP Tristram Hunt has warned that giving so much social housing to migrants will lead to resentment among the British population. He wrote in the Huffington Post:
The Government must be sensitive to the potential effects of this. Because even though I believe that Britain is stronger because people from other countries have chosen to come and live and work here, we cannot ignore the fact that public concern about immigration is at an all-time high. And one of the best ways to ease concerns about immigration is to ensure that the British people feel they are being fairly treated. But with huge discounts on housing association properties being offered to people who may have been paying taxes in the UK for just a few years, this Tory policy will only reinforce the already widespread sense of injustice.
In September, a left wing sociologist wrote in The Guardian that Britain’s working classes would be worst hit by the migrant crisis.
Lisa Mckenzie, a sociology fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE), said poor Britons face falling further down waiting lists for social housing, school places and healthcare as immigration rises.
“While the wealthy and the powerful make grand gestures of buying islands and giving homes, and the liberal left offer their spare rooms, in reality it will be the working-class people of Britain who will share the little they have,” she wrote.
She warned against politicians trying to exploit the migrant crisis as a means to show off their moral vanity at the expense of the working classes:
“As refugees start to come into Britain, tired and desperate, politicians from left or right, local or national, must not be allowed to make political capital from their situation, and from the people already struggling in poor communities,” she said.