Benefit cuts will require extra support for migrants
Changes to housing benefit mean government ministers, social housing providers and private landlords need to give more help to migrants, a new report has found.
The Housing and Migration Network says welfare reform means it is more important than ever to make sure migrants are living in acceptable housing. It says poor housing in the private sector, where 75 per cent of migrants live, can fuel neighbourhood problems and local tensions.
The report, UK migrants and the private rented sector, says solutions that incentivise good landlords but are tough on bad landlords - including licensing schemes and local lettings schemes - could improve the PRS.
Neighbourhood relations may deteriorate if action is not taken, the report warns, as houses in multiple occupation can instigate a range of environmental problems if landlords fail to manage the property adequately.
Neil Coles, project lead for the Housing and Migration Network, which was jointly established by charity HACT, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Migration Foundation from Metropolitan Housing Partnership, said: ‘Recent migrants to the UK often have low awareness of their rights and responsibilities as tenants, and are more likely to be exploited, have irregular tenancies or to live in HMOs with poor conditions.
‘The report is particularly timely as the private rented sector is growing rapidly and is under considerable pressure due to changes in government legislation.’
Roger Harding, head of policy, research and public affairs at Shelter, said: ‘The findings of this report are echoed in the cases Shelter advisers see on a daily basis: poor, insecure and sometimes dangerous housing provided by a small minority of rogue landlords. The growth and changing demographics of private renting means that a fresh look at how well it functions is urgently needed.’