Thursday, 17 April 2014

Immigration change to increase demand for homes

The communities secretary has conceded an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians is going to increase pressure on social housing when rules change at the start of next year.

Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics show yesterday, Eric Pickles told host Andrew Neil the change is going to ‘cause problems’ for the housing sector.

From January 2014 restrictions will be lifted on Romanians and Bulgarians entering and working in the UK. These have been in place since the nations joined the European Union in 2007.

Mr Neil quizzed Mr Pickles on the likely number of people entering the UK as a result of the change, and the impact this would have.

The communities secretary responded: ‘Given that we have got a housing shortage, any influx from Romania and Bulgaria is going to cause problems. It is going to cause problems not just in terms of the housing market, but also in the social housing market.’

He said the influx would be likely to hit east London councils hardest, and authorities are already beginning to prepare for this.

He refused to give a figure for the number of people the government believes will come to the UK as a result of the change, saying that although officials have given him a figure he is not confident it is accurate, so has asked for more work to be carried out.

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