Cambs migrants do not jump housing waiting lists

IT S a myth that Cambridgeshire s migrant workers jump queues and take over local authority housing lists, according to a new study by the county s director of public health. Dr Liz Robin says only a small proportion of social housing is allocated to fore

IT'S a myth that Cambridgeshire's migrant workers jump queues and take over local authority housing lists, according to a new study by the county's director of public health.

Dr Liz Robin says only a small proportion of social housing is allocated to foreign nationals.

"A consequence of this is that around 90 per cent of people who arrived in the UK in the last two years are in the private rental sector," she said.

Although people from countries within Europe may be eligible for social housing in some circumstances, Dr Robin maintains there is no special treatment given to them.

"European Economic Area nationals' right to live in the UK is based on an expectation that they should be economically active or self-sufficient and not place a burden on UK social assurance," says Dr Robin. "In order to qualify, foreign nationals must not only be eligible but must also have sufficient priority under the local authority's allocation scheme.

"Their priority is considered on the same basis as all other applicants."

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Dr Robin says the high cost of housing and a shortage of affordable housing are key issues for migrants in Cambridgeshire, a county where the average house price is 6.4 times greater than average earnings.

A major study of migrant workers has been prepared by Dr Robin and was to be presented to Cambridgeshire County Council cabinet.

Dr Robin says that, of the 30,000 migrants attracted to the county since 2001, it is estimated that around 13,000 have remained for more than a year.

Other issues identified in her findings show that over 80 languages are now spoken in Cambridgeshire schools.

The report has been compiled as part of a joint strategic needs assessment for both migrant workers and homeless people.

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