Steve Doughty — Nov 15, 2017
The spiralling need for new homes is almost entirely a result of immigration, according to a report.
It says eight out of ten of all new households over the past 15 years were made up of migrant families, which is the overwhelming reason for the pressure to build millions of new homes.
The report from the Migration Watch UK think-tank accused ministers of misleading the public.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid told the Commons in February that ‘two-thirds of housing demand has nothing to do with immigration’ and was down to natural population growth.
Migration Watch says this is ‘entirely false and misleading’.
It says that according to the Labour Force Survey by the Office for National Statistics, 1.65 million of the two million new households needing homes in England between 2000 and 2015 were headed by someone who was an immigrant.
And between 2010 and 2015, the number of households headed by someone born in Britain actually fell.
It dropped by 117,335 to 18,751,065, while the number of new households where the head was an immigrant went up by nearly half a million to 3,493,207.
Mr Javid’s Department for Communities and Local Government says that in the 25 years between 2014 and 2039 there will need to be homes for 210,000 new households a year. Of these, it says 77,000, will be a result of immigration.
But Migration Watch disputes these numbers.
It says officials are using immigration figures that are far below the real levels and ignoring the effect of new families formed by young immigrants already in the UK.
‘Consider eight Polish men in their twenties who arrived in England in 2012 and live together in a shared house,’ the report said.
‘Together they currently form one household. However, as they age and perhaps settle down with partners and have children they will go on to form up to eight separate family households.’
Migration Watch chief Lord Green said: ‘We have a major crisis over housing affecting huge numbers of people, especially the young.
‘Yet the focus of debate is still on supply; nobody dares talk about demand and its principle driver, immigration.
‘Our paper breaks new ground in pointing to this central, if uncomfortable, truth.’