Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he intends to unveil a crackdown on immigrant families applying for social housing in an attempt to reduce net immigration.
In a keynote speech on 24 March 2013 Mr Cameron promised to tackle a “something for nothing culture”. He intends for there to be a tougher approach on housing and benefits which could result in immigrants having to wait up to five years to join council housing registers.
It is thought that only around half of councils strictly apply local connection tests for social housing. Nearly one in 10 new social lettings go to foreign nationals, a proportion that has risen from 6.5% in 2007/2008 to 9% in 2011/2012.
Mr Cameron intends that statutory guidance will be issued and that local authorities will have to introduce minimum residency times of between two and five years for joining the housing register or justify why minimum residency times are not being applied.