Rise in homeless migrant families receiving emergency accommodation

Government statistics have shown that more than 10,000 migrant households have been given emergency council accommodation, as a result of losing their home and needing to care for children.

The families are frequently placed in temporary B&B accommodation or hostels until the council can find a permanent home. The bill of using this kind of temporary housing measure has been estimated at around £2.5 million per month, assuming average accommodation costs around £250 each month.

Data shows the number of migrant households qualifying for emergency accommodation has doubled from 5,320 in 2010 to 10380 in 2015.

Currently, regulations state that EU citizens are eligible for housing help if they have worked in the UK while non-EU citizens can be given assistance if they have been given the right to stay in this country and it would be unsafe for them to return to their homeland.

Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “A lack of forward planning and a failure to liberalise planning laws from successive governments have led to a housing shortage in Britain.

“However, extended stays in temporary accommodation cannot be seen as a long term solution as they offer terrible value for taxpayers’ money. 

“It’s vital that authorities ensure that more sensible accommodation is found, and fast, to ensure more money isn’t taken away from squeezed council budgets.” 

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: “A chronic shortage of affordable housing means councils are facing real difficulties in finding emergency care for all homeless people, particularly those who are young, vulnerable, or with families.

“Councils need to be able to build and invest in more of the genuine affordable homes our communities desperately need and which are crucial to reducing homelessness and tackling growing council waiting lists."