A Swindon Advertiser correspondent tells us that 61% of housing association homes last year were given to “East European migrants”. This is the reply.

I was reminded of the old maxim don’t believe everything you read in the papers when I read Jeff Adams letter (Drain on Infrastructure). Jeff wrote that “in the previous financial year, 61% of housing association properties went to East European migrants”. That’s an extroardinary statistic, or at least it would be if it was true. I don’t know where Jeff got this figure from. A quick Google finds reference to the 61% figure in the Telegraph and the Express. The Telegraph said

“Housing associations are also letting a bigger chunk of their stock to people from these EU accession countries. In the last financial year, more than six in 10 (61%) homes went to nationals from accession countries, up from 54% in 2007/08.”

This is complete nonsense. The article even managed to mention that 91% of homes went to UK nationals! The Express was more accurate.

“In the last financial year, 61 per cent of homes that went to nationals from these countries came from the housing associations, up from 54 per cent in 2007/08.”

The real figure for new tenancies going to people from Eastern Europe, which you can see in the Department of Communities & Local Government Households statistical release of October 6th 2015, is just over 3%. More than nine out of 10 new tenancies still go to UK nationals.

Martin Wicks
Secretary, Swindon Tenants Campaign Group