Thousands of asylum seekers and refugees temporarily housed in emergency accommodation across the UK are being “unfairly and inaccurately” blamed for the national housing crisis, according to a coalition of more than 100 housing organisations.
Charities including Shelter, Homeless Link and the Big Issue say the housing emergency is the fault of the government, not those asylum seekers who have fled trafficking, violence and conflict.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Our country is in the grip of a housing emergency that has been caused by the failure of successive governments to build the social homes we need. It has not been caused by refugees. We must call out the lies that certain groups tell in order to sow division between people and communities for their own ends. We must stand up to hate when we see it.”
Sarah Taal, director of Birmingham-based Baobab Women’s Project, says asylum seekers are being unduly blamed for the social housing crisis by far-right groups.
“Asylum seekers aren’t entitled to social housing, so they’re not taking homes from anyone.”