Shelter: Comments ‘Perpetuate A Myth’

The housing charity Shelter has condemned the industry minister for her comments on immigration and social housing. Margaret Hodge argued British families should be given precedence over immigrant families in the provision of social housing.

“These comments perpetuate the myth that social homes are given to new immigrants coming to the UK at the expense of the indigenous population – when in fact homes are allocated by balancing what people are entitled to against immediate housing need,” Adam Sampson, chief executive of Shelter, said.

Mr Sampson warned that the government was exploiting the absence of social housing for its own political goals, but he also blamed government for the shortage of housing in the first place.

He said: “The failure to build new homes and the devastating impact of the right-to-buy leaves the small amount of social housing stock vulnerable to being exploited for political means.

“The real problem is the desperate shortage of social housing, which is why Gordon Brown must now deliver on his commitment last week to build more social homes to tackle the ever-deepening housing crisis.”