POSTnote briefing: Migrants and Housing

There’s no evidence that social housing allocation favours migrants, says an August 2017 briefing (pdf) from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).

The briefing provides an overview of available research on migrants and housing. It examines definitions and data sources on migration and its implications, and outlines the possible impact of migrants on housing, including variation by tenure type, migrant characteristics and region. Finally, it considers the impact of housing on migrants and local communities.

Main points include:

  • Understanding the impact of migration on housing is difficult, in part due to different definitions and statistics on migrants. However, there is general consensus that any impacts are complex and indirect
  • About 80% of foreign-born migrants who have been resident in the UK for less than 5 years live in the private rented sector, compared to about 20% of the UK-born population. Migrants with over a decade of residence tend to demonstrate similar levels of owner-occupation to the UK-born population
  • About a fifth of migrants live in social rented accommodation, similar to the UK-born population. There is no evidence that social housing allocation favours migrants
  • Increased housing demand impacts negatively on wellbeing, risk of destitution and homelessness. Research suggests it may also exacerbate tensions at the community level and hinder integration.

Read the full briefing (pdf) or a summary on the UK Parliament website.