Immigrants do not jump social housing queues, says EHRC

An Equality and Human Rights Commission study has produced evidence that immigrants in Britain cannot "jump ahead" of residents born here in queues for council or social housing, a widely-held belief much played upon by the British National Party. Once settled here - which means once they are just as liable for taxation as anyone else and thus entitled to the same assistance - no greater percentage of council housing is occupied by immigrants than by any other group.

Immigrants from all around the world have long been contributing to British society and culture.
Royalty-free image by Indeed, found at gettyimages.co.uk.

At present, housing of this type is awarded entirely according to the needs of the applicant and immigrants are not able to claim an occupancy until five years after they have settled here. John Healey, the Housing Minister, said that he believes the miconception that certain groups are favoured and as such have a better chance of finding accomodation is "largely a problem of perception" and that he wanted to "nail the myth" that certain groups are losing out. The commission's study discovered that just 11% of those immigrants to have arrived in Britain - all of them asylum seekers, amongst the most needy people in society - are given help with housing.

Most interestingly, once they have been here for five years and become eligible for help, a mere one in six live in council/social housing - precisely the same amount as people born here. This provides more proof that the BNP's policies are designed soley to pander to common fears, rather than to recognise and solve any real problems in society, in a blatantly cynical attempt to woo voters.

The worry, which may be unfounded but is nevertheless very real, that immigrants are unintentionally preventing native British people from receiving the help they need has been impossible to miss. Certain sections of the media - especially certain tabloid newspapers - have whipped what was once a vaguely-felt worry into fully-fledged racism by printing highly-questionable stories which have resulted in violence such as the shocking attacks on Romanians in Northern Ireland, attacks that deliberately endangered the lives of children.

The Government are to be held at least partially to blame for this, as they have done little or nothing to prevent the escalation of a misconstrued concern into racial, xenophobic and nationalistic hatred other than using the issue as a cheap way to score points and voters as each party claimed to be the only one who will do an ill-defined "something about it." Had they have addressed the public's concerns previously, we would now have a wealth of evidence suggesting that immigrants contribute to and are a positive aspect in society (as an example, while British Asians make up just 4% of the UK's populace, they contribute 6% of the nation's GDP) rather than a drain upon it and its resources, instead of being in the situation within which we now find ourselves where otherwise normal, once-tolerant citizens are now so worried that they are willing to vote for an extremist, neo-fascist organisation that cynically takes advantage of their fears and promises to get rid of the immigrant bogeyman.

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