Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomeCulture WarMigrant rent deals reveal the hollowness of Gove’s housing pledges

Migrant rent deals reveal the hollowness of Gove’s housing pledges


THE Telegraph reports that despite the severe housing shortage the Home Office is offering landlords five-year guaranteed full-rent deals for properties in which to house asylum seekers. It has amassed a stock of 16,000 properties in the hope of cutting the £8million-a-day cost of accommodating migrants in hotels.

The paper says these properties, sourced from the private rental and social housing markets, are being used to accommodate more than 58,000 asylum seekers across England, Wales and Scotland.

Migration Watch’s response in an email to its followers highlighted the fact that the Housing Secretary of the very same government, Michael Gove, has been warning that if young British people and families continue to struggle to achieve home ownership, they may lose faith in democracy. That’s why the government are looking to unveil measures to appeal to ‘Generation Rent’ and the ‘Boomerang Generation’ – those who return home after university or training.

Migration Watch say: ‘However much impact the Michael Gove measures have (and in the interests of young people in particular, we hope it is considerable) they totally fail to address the root cause of the housing crisis. It is not simply about a continual inability to build enough homes although this is of course important. It is principally about a rapidly growing population and what drives this.’

They set this out:

Migration is adding around 700,000 to the population every year. ‘It is this mammoth inflow that drives up demand, house prices and rents and makes housing unaffordable for so many.’

They quote a Centre for Policy Studies report which says that Britain will need 5.7million new homes over the next 15 years to keep up with immigration-driven population growth. Meanwhile, they add, data from the Migration Advisory Committee shows that a 1 per cent increase in population due to immigration raises house prices by 1 per cent.

Migration Watch tell us that as part of a series of measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration, the government have introduced stricter penalties for landlords who rent properties to individuals without the right to reside in the country.

‘These measures are intended to make it more difficult for individuals to remain in the country without proper authorisation, as well as to penalise those who facilitate and take advantage of illegal immigration. Under the new proposals, fines for unlawfully renting out properties will increase from £80 per lodger and £1,000 per tenant for a first offence to as much as £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per tenant. Subsequent violations will result in fines of up to £10,000 per lodger and £20,000 per tenant, up from £500 and £3,000, respectively.

‘The aim is to make it financially unfeasible to support illegal migration. Similar changes are being proposed to address rogue employers who may collude with human traffickers to circumvent immigration laws and undermine the legal economy.’

Strengthening existing sanctions is all very well but the key question is how strictly these measures will be enforced and how frequently courts will impose maximum fines or prison?

But now even that initiative is made a mockery of, surely, given the Telegraph‘s report?

Is not any attempt to deal with rogue landlords mitigated by the generous offer just made them? A five-year guaranteed rent deal will take even more affordable properties off the market for Generation Rent and the so Boomerang Generation. What a cruel joke.

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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