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Eastern European tenants in social housing 'trebled since 2007'

The proportion of typical social housing in England being let to Eastern Europeans has trebled over the last eight years, provisional figures have found.

According to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), councils and housing associations let a total of 9,128 homes in England to tenants from 'EU accession countries' - all of which are in eastern Europe - during 2014/15.

In 2007/08, this figure stood at 2,800.

By contrast, the percentage of social housing let to UK nationals fell from 94% to 91% over the same period.

Housing associations also make up a larger proportion of the homes let to people from these EU accession countries. In the last financial year, 61% of homes that went to nationals from these countries came from the housing association, up from 54% in 2007/08.

This could reflect the decline in the overall number of lettings by councils in England, which are at their lowest level since records began.

Just over 116,000 homes were let by councils during the 2014/15 financial year, which was 7% lower than the previous 12 months and 20% lower than in 2007.

Accession countries are those which have joined the EU in the last decade. In 2007 this group comprised the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Bulgaria and Romania joined the list in 2008/09, while Croatia was added in 2014/15.

These figures do not include supported housing and refer to general needs lettings - the majority of properties made available by councils and housing associations to private tenants.

Social housing lettings in 2014/15 to tenants from EU accession countries, by nationality

(Note: totals do not include supported housing)

Local councils:

Poland: 60%

Lithuania: 12%

Latvia: 10%

Czech Republic: 5%

Slovakia: 4%

Hungary: 3%

Bulgaria: 2%

Romania: 2%

Croatia: 1%

Estonia: 1%

Slovenia: 1%

Housing associations:

Poland: 63%

Lithuania: 11%

Latvia: 8%

Czech Republic: 5%

Slovakia: 4%

Hungary: 2%

Romania: 2%

Bulgaria: 1%

Estonia: 1%

Slovenia: 1%

Croatia: 0.5%

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "More than 90% of social housing goes to UK nationals.

"We have provided local councils the power to manage their own waiting lists and instructed them to give greater priority to local residents including a two-year residency test."


From Belfast Telegraph