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Article by
Cllr John Whitby



HOUSING CRISIS - The Elephant in The Room…

Posted on December 21st, 2017

At a time when Parliament and the established political parties (Labour, Tory & Liberal Democrats) reluctantly accept that there is a major housing crisis they fail to look at the obvious pantomime villain, uncontrolled mass immigration.

UKIP Leader Henry Bolton said: "UKIP has always pledged to introduce a points based system, to reverse cuts to the Border Force and to do everything necessary to ensure effectively controlled immigration. To do this, it is crucial that the U.K. leaves the EU single market. UKIP is the only national party 100% committed to doing so.

John Bickley, UKIP's immigration spokesman stated: "They blame each other for the housing crisis and desperately try to deflect the audience's gaze away from what they have been solely responsible for, uncontrolled immigration".

"The UK's population is growing at a rate of 400% more than it did in the 1970's and the Conservative's promise to reduce net immigration to the 'tens of thousands' is a hollow sham. There is no evidence that uncontrolled immigration from the EU will be brought under control for years; maybe never. Non EU immigration, on the other hand, which the UK is supposed to have control of is far worse than that from the EU".

"The immigration watchdog, Migration Watch have today published a paper that states young people are paying the price as net migration contributes to the housing crisis".

Their paper also shows that London is bearing the brunt of ballooning demand for rental properties, which has largely been driven by unprecedented levels of net migration.

Analysis of the Labour Force Survey shows that homes headed by those born abroad accounted for more than 80% of the total growth (265,000 out of a total 328,000 net increase) of households in London’s private rented sector over the past decade. Over the same period, London rents have been increased by 36%, considerably more than the 21% rise in average earnings between January 2008 and January 2017.

The fact that immigration is a major component driving the demand for homes across England is often ignored or downplayed by many commentators and politicians. This is all the more indefensible given that, during the last decade, more than 90% of additional households in England had a foreign-born head. ONS figures show that of the net change in the number of households in England of just over 1.2 million between 2005-2014, more than 1.1 million had a foreign-born head (for more, see Annex A of our recent paper 'The Impact of Immigration on Housing Demand in England').

For some young people the high cost of renting can mean spending longer living in house shares or with parents. Indeed, research by Shelter recently revealed that ‘three in five (59%) 18-44 year olds in Britain say they will be forced to put their lives on hold as a result of the housing crisis’.

John Bickley said: "The established political parties' performance in failing to control immigration makes even the most farcical pantomime seem sane by comparison. Next time you hear a career politician wittering on about the housing crisis shout at them: 'It's behind you. It's called uncontrolled immigration"!