'London councils not recording tenants' nationalities'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
London councils not recording tenants' nationalities
Over half of the new council housing lets in London do not record the nationality of the tenant, new research has revealed.
The campaign group Migrationwatch UK found that one fifth of all social housing in London is occupied by foreign nationals, and that one third of the capital's new council lets are not even recorded in the Continuous Recording of Sales and Lettings (CORE) data.
Migrationwatch says that local authorities are failing in their legal duty to provide information on the nationality of the tenant, and that four London councils - owners of a quarter of the capital's council-owned stock - provided no information at all to central government.
The group's website claims that it is "important to be clear that the debate should be about foreign nationals, not the foreign born. Many of the latter have become British citizens and, of course, should be treated like any other British citizen. However, foreign nationals are those who have not even been in Britain long enough to qualify or who do not wish to become citizens".
Sir Andrew Green, chairman Migrationwatch UK, said: "It is deeply unsatisfactory that the information on new lets should be so chaotic given the huge importance of this issue to so many families. The Government must make the nationality question compulsory. This could provide the basis for a renewed debate on the criteria by which social housing should be allocated."
In a joint statement, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, co-chairmen of the Cross Party group on Balanced Migration, said: "This is a huge issue for many people. The government must now launch a full enquiry into what is going on in the allocation of social housing in London."