Huge surge in European migrants' pleas for help
Eastern European migrants' applications for housing help have risen by 188 per cent over the past three years, government figures have shown.
In October to December last year local authorities received 355 requests for housing assistance compared with 123 in the same two months in 2004. Applications from the eight accession states now make up 1.1 per cent of all requests for help - compared with 0.2 per cent in 2004.
Councils which have experienced large influxes of eastern European migrants have complained that the government's method of measuring population flow is flawed (Inside Housing, 29 February).
But research released by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission found that there was 'no evidence' that migrants were jumping the queue for social housing (Inside Housing, 11 April).
Nick Johnson, director of policy at the Institute of Community Cohesion, told Inside Housing this week that attempts to quash myths about migration risked lending them credibility.
'We run the risk of giving greater credibility to these myths by focusing on them,' he said.
The best way for the government to overcome prejudice against migrants was to build more homes, Mr Johnson added.