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British Homes for British Workers

Under the slogan “British homes for British workers”, the Government is consulting on a series of reforms to social housing which would change the amount of time migrants have to have lived in the UK to be eligible for social housing from 2 years to 10 years (unless exempt).

In practice, these reforms wouldn’t change much at all and would make no noticeable difference to anybody on the housing waiting list. 90% of new social housing lettings in 2021-22 went to British nationals, 5% to European nationals, and 5% to people from nations outside the European Economic Area. Few immigrants are given social housing in this country, and in practice these proposals would make life harder for the thousands of people who move their lives here to work in our NHS and care homes. 

This is not a genuine attempt to alleviate the long waiting lists for social housing. It is disgusting that a governing party that has spent decades deliberately destroying our social housing supply via Right to Buy and austerity is now pinning the consequences of its own actions on working class people who keep our country running. 

To add insult to injury, while the government is consulting on these reforms, it is also floating the idea of spending billions of pounds on pre-election tax cuts - to add to the billions they’ve already handed to their rich friends. Making tax cuts while working people are struggling more than they have in decades is top-down class warfare. Pointing the finger of blame at immigrants while doing so is cynical, divisive and dangerous.

More than 1.2 million people are currently on the waiting list for a social home in England. They need the government to take this crisis seriously and build on a massive scale, not whip up division and hatred between neighbours. 

We call on the government to drop this cynical and divisive rhetoric, and: 

  • Tax wealth to fund councils to build millions of social homes 
  • Reform/abolish right to buy so councils have the confidence to build 
  • Use the Renters Reform Bill to make the private rented sector secure and affordable, easing demand on social housing and driving fewer people into temporary accommodation

ACORN is currently petitioning the government to build council homes. Add your signature here.