citiesrefugees_d1How is the refugee crisis affecting local communities? We often look at the ‘big picture’ on Debating Europe, talking to national and European politicians. But the real impact of Europe’s largest refugee crisis since the Second World War is going to be at the local level. Cities and municipal governments are going to have to house people, provide healthcare, education, and support integration into society.

So, in order to take a closer look at the local impact of the refugee crisis, we’re launching our ‘Cities & Refugees‘ project – aimed at fostering a Europe-wide dialogue between citizens, refugees and asylum seekers, NGOs, politicians, and European leaders. The emphasis will be on connecting local, everyday life at the city level to decisions made in Brussels and national capitals.

The first city we’re looking at is Bristol, in the South-West of England. Bristol officially launched as a City of Sanctuary in June 2011, making it clear that “sanctuary seekers should be welcomed, and that their contribution to society should be celebrated.”

How has that worked in practice? Well, between January and March 2016, a total of 14 Syrian refugees were re-homed in Bristol. That may not seem like much (and it’s not – the UK as a whole has only taken 1,602 refugees from Syria, and is unlikely to meet its target of resettling 20,000 refugees – out of a total Syrian refugee population of almost 5 million – by the year 2020). However, the big question is where to rehouse even the dozen or so refugees that have been accepted. Simply put: Bristol has run out of affordable housing.

Almost 10,000 people are waiting for a council home in Bristol, but of all the properties under council ownership only 41 are available for rent. This is despite the fact that Bristol has one of the largest retained social housing estates in the country, with around 27,500 social housing units (running from houses to flats of different sizes). To make matters worse, the total stock of council homes is actually shrinking, because of (among other things) right-to-buy legislation.

Bristol City Council has long admitted that there is a serious social housing crisis in the city. But they point out that refugees are not causing the crisis, and because the number of refugees is so small relative to the scale of the problem, they aren’t even seriously exacerbating it. So, is the real issue not the refugees, but rather the lack of social housing?

Curious to know more about social housing in Bristol? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).

We’ve had hundreds of comments on this issue, but the comments from Catherine and Gary are fairly representative, blaming migrants and asylum seekers for “jumping the queue” and taking away social housing from local people.

To get a response, we spoke to Anthony Negus, a Liberal Democrat Councillor for Cotham Ward in Bristol. He is currently Chair of the Bristol City Council Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Commission (which reviews, among other things, housing delivery in Bristol), and previously held the portfolio for Housing and Regeneration as a member of the Mayor’s Cabinet. What would he say to these comments?

negusWell, I think there will be pressure as a result of people coming into Bristol of almost any status. Bristol doesn’t just have a massive affordable housing problem, it has a general housing problem which is actually working its way through the private rental sector and pushing up rents in that sector as well. And that is driving some people – who might in the past have been able to afford renting privately – to need affordable housing which isn’t available.

I’m very pleased that during the administration of which I was a part, Bristol became a City of Sanctuary, and I feel very strongly about Bristol being open to asylum seekers. However, I regularly get lobbied to sign things and make it our first priority dealing with rehousing refugees, and I always point out the pragmatic truth. However laudable this is, and however much – as I do – we want to do this, our ability is restricted by the number of housing units that we can actually bring to play on this.

We have a massive homelessness problem in Bristol, and we have a problem of trying to house families that have become homeless. I think we’re doing well under the circumstances, but if you look at the figures coldly, we’re not doing well. We are struggling to resolve the housing issue. And if we’re already struggling with a population that is growing naturally from other parts of this county, then we’re also going to struggle with refugees as well. Our hands are tied by the situation we have inherited over the last 30-40 years.

Do refugees take away social housing opportunities from locals? Or are they being used as a convenient scapegoat? Is the current model of social housing anyway unsustainable? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reaction!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – CAFOD Photo Library
EU_for_citizens
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.



178 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    Checking out the situation in Sweden or Germany would be much more relevant than in a single town in the UK.

  2. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    .

    Of course they do, import a million + more people means you either build more housing, schools, hospitals, etc or the local community will suffer. The social destruction by multiculturalism is either stopped now or there will be civil wars in the EU.

    The only good thing to come out of the migrant fiasco is Merkel’s open door policy will destroy the EU.

    • avatar
      J cooper

      I completely agree – even though sone refugees are put in private sector they still get their rent etc paid for by the council – what idiot thinks that a 2 million extra people allowed in the country is not going to have any impact on everything – our island doesn’t get any bigger – the congestion everywhere is horrendous – all of these people don’t contribute in taxes/ni – why do u think the eu countries are veering to far right

  3. avatar
    Tony Muñiz

    Of course they do. Not only refugees but migrants in general. In my country they have priority over nationals, as for being migrants they are supposedly at a higher risk of social exclusion. Total BS!! Don’t allow them in if they are at risk of social exclusion. A country is not a charity. And to prove it. Remember that “refugee” who was tripped by that reporter? Well, he was fast forward through the process, was given aid, housing and now job. We have Spaniards that have worked and payed taxes all their lives and live on the street and receive zero benefits. So, there is your answer. Why is the Spanish national living in the street and this syrian rebel who called for jihad in Syria has a home and benefits?

    • avatar
      R. Hanke

      No rebels called for jihad, and maybe look up the meanings meaning of words you use before using them. They are fleeing death, can you even comprehend this? Leaving all you owned, your home, you familiar atmosphere and leave for the unknown fleeing death.

  4. avatar
    Paul X

    One of the more pointless posts on here, the answer has already been given above before the question was even asked

    Bristol has nearly 10.000 people waiting for a house, 14 refugees have been housed in Bristol….it is not rocket science….if it wasn’t for the refugees 14 residents of Bristol would now have a home

    The problem with all debates such as this is people try and gloss over the issue by using scale i.e. the inference above is that 14 refugees is insignificent when compared to the 10,000 already in the queue, well I’m afraid the quantity does not matter 1, 14 or 14,000 refugees, it is the principle of local people being treated second best in their own country that is wrong

    • avatar
      James McManama

      Paul,

      I think the issue alluded to is that 27,500 families have been housed in council homes in Bristol, and of that number 14 people are refugees. It’s true that there is a waiting list of nearly 10,000 people – but refugees did not cause that waiting list.

      If you read the Express, you’d think that we’re being swamped with refugees, but it’s just obfuscating the issue. It’s easier to blame refugees than actually tackling making difficult decisions. There is a massive problem, but the refugee crisis is not a serious factor. The issue is that everybody wants to own their own home, they’re not happy with renting (and we don’t have ‘rent for life’ agreements that some countries have), councils can’t build on green belts because people in rural villages don’t want new developments, etc., etc.

      Blaming refugees gets people wound up, but it’s not solving things. It’s just typical political bullsh*t, clouding the facts so people forget the real problems.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      James, the question isn’t who is to blame for the shortage of affordable housing but does housing refugees remove opportunities from locals, and the answer cannot be anything but yes….the only way the answer would be no is if there was a surplus of housing

    • avatar
      James McManama

      In that case, I agree with you. It’s the wrong debate. Because refugees are a distraction. The angrier we get at refugees, the less we actually do to address the real problems.

      The real issues are things like Thatcher’s right-to-buy scheme (which didn’t allow local authorities to reinvest the money in new housing stock), draconian planning laws and NIMBY residents, billionaire investors buying up land as a way to store value, buy-to-let landlords, and the perception that you’re somehow a “failure” if you’re renting for life. That’s the debate we should be having.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      I agree with you there, right to buy was the most short sighted idiotic policy ever invented. And buy to let really does need some tough legislation particularly as more and more is being controlled by people who do not even live in this country

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @James and Paul, I think ultimately right to buy only failed because it was 1/2 of a solution. What was needed was right to buy combined with compulsory renewal of social housing. The problem of social housing in the UK today is a result of decades of neglect on this second important factor. The refugees may well be a small proportion of the total needing housing, but the saying is “the straw that broke the camels back” because it’s always that last piece that does the damage. However, in this instance the camel’s back has been snapped for the past 15 years or more, at this point we’re just burying a crippled camel under a mountain of straw.
      My second point is the response from Anthony Negus failed to confirm or deny if refugees, asylum seekers and/or foreign nationals in general are being given priority or not, as understandable as the need to house refugees being given asylum is. It cannot be good for local communities for the people who have lived within the system all their lives to feel they are treated as somehow second rate, or less important when compared to new arrivals.
      My third point is less to do with the housing of refugees and more to do with questioning the legitimacy of this policy to begin with. These people are having to travel thousands of miles, under difficult and often dangerous conditions, most often without a vehicle aka on foot. And then they have to cross the sea. Thousands are dying from the journey alone. Then they arrive and find out that the people they believed would welcome them with open arms have in fact grown resentful or even downright angry towards them. Why is Syria’s border not looking like Glastonbury festival times a hundred thousand? Why is aid not going to them (sorry, I should say enough aid really, but it just feels like they sent a dustpan and brush to clean up an earthquake)? We have lorries and ships and aircraft and helicopters and we have hundreds of thousands of troops already being paid wether they sit in barracks back home or if they go do humanitarian work. So, since it’s easier for us to send them help than it is for them to come here to get help why for the love of human life are we doing things he wrong way round? That’s before you even consider the aftermath of the war, the country will need it’s people to remain a viable country. It will need it’s people to remove the rubble and put up new houses and places of worship and business and recreation. It will need it’s people to have their say on the shape of their countries future. It needs them because a country is it’s people. If they’ve all been repatriated across Europe or drown trying to get there, what chance does Syria have to recover from this? Zero chance that’s what.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      To me the only way right to buy would work is if the occupancy time before you could buy was extended to at least 10 years and for every house brought off the council they have to build two. Within that 10 years the tennant has to demonstrate their ability to meet the commitment to buy by being able to raise a substancial % the agreed sale as a deposit, effectively paying the mortgage before getting ownership…and the 10 years gives the council plenty of time to plan and resource the replacement housing

      The current system just allows occupants (and often their relatives who see an easy investment opportunity) to make a quick profit within a few years and councils extra cash without any commitments

    • avatar
      Duncan

      I think you’re missing the point. Right to buy was (supposedly) set up because people living in council houses couldn’t afford large deposits on their mortgage. Also, the time requirement of occupancy (whilst it could be argued needs lengthening) should also be considered offset against the overall cost of the property, as in essence it has already been paid. But yes, it absolutely needs to go hand in hand with renewal of properties.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Duncan, I’m not missing the point, right to buy was a Thatcherite policy supposedly to empower people into becoming home owners where as it was actually just a way of reducing the social housing bill whilst generating income for local councils
      Property is like gold and if you give people the chance to buy it cheaply and sell it on for a profit then they will, and that should have been obvious from the start

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Paul x. I know the true motives behind it. But that should be rectifiable by limiting everyone to being able to buy a maximum of one council property. The deposit would be a problem many genuine people in low income but wanting to buy wouldn’t be able to overcome. If anything, it would make it more likely that the system would get exploited by those who don’t really need the help.

    • avatar
      Shortcake

      I totally agree with this it’s just ridiculous no other country treats there people as second class citizens this situation has caused so much bitterness and disgust and people who wud never dream of having hate in their hearts have become very resentful to foreigners in their country

    • avatar
      Rach

      I agree, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants all cause problems. Refugees allow their country like Syria to be over-run by isis and then cry help. Muslim countries should be helping them

    • avatar
      Nigel Lakin

      Exactly we must bring in a law that refugees and imigrants who need housing will go to the back of the queue. Anyone as in Spain, and other countries, who has not contributed in taxes stc will not be supported in any way…
      We also have the risk of Taliban killers getting into UK for terrorist activities

  5. avatar
    Andrew Jones

    Probably does, but these countries are destroying theirs, they have been for years now. I wonder how the housing and Hospitals etc are like in their countries…… oh yes rubble now aren’t they? Any country who is involved in the destruction of the middle east has a duty to help the people who they are displacing.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      The people of Bristol are no more responsible for bombing Syria then the 14 refugees are responsible for their housing shortage

  6. avatar
    Fernando Nabais

    This is very simple. You have 10 homeless people and social houses for 5 people. If you accommodate homeless people in there you will have only 5 homeless people. If you accommodate migrants, you will still have 10 homeless people. It seems that in all European countries, illegal migrants are getting homes while native Europeans continue homeless. I don’t see what is to debate about this, the answer is straightforward.

    • avatar
      Stewart Rockett

      “It seems that in all European countries, illegal migrants are getting homes”. This is patent nonsense. Illegal migrants cannot access any benefits, simply because their status of being illegal prevents that. To access benefits, a refugee must either apply for asylum, in which case they will get very minimal benefits, or have had their application for sanctuary accepted, in which case they are able to access benefits that apply to their personal situations.

  7. avatar
    Gloria Brady

    As they say you can.t fit a quart into a pint pot..which is what they are trying to do if you don.t thousands more people using the same facilities there was 10yrs ago..

  8. avatar
    Robert Catena

    problem is not created by few real refugees, but by the hundreds of thousands false refugees, the migrants, that through italy and the disgusting italian goverment are collapsing Europe….

  9. avatar
    Andrea Brown

    Yes. In Ireland they have automatic top priority. That rule is designed to create racism, especially during the present housing crisis in Ireland.

    • avatar
      Shortcake

      Most definitely as if Ireland has not went threw enough we are dealing with another problem the Irish still getting treated like crap in their own country

  10. avatar
    Chris Pavlides

    European leadership imports real cheap hands on purpose and then tries to smoothen the crime over locals under humataerian cover… Sorry we are not Americans!

  11. avatar
    Natascha

    The problem with refugees is not the fact that they change the demographic landscape, the problem is that they compete in the lower regions of the class system with people already marginalized by poverty and limited opportunities. Political leaders ask for solidarity, but for them, it’s lip service, because they do not feel the brunt of cuts and scarcity that takes place in the already overcrowded under classes. The hostilities and repulsion against the newcomers stems from that dichotomy……….it has little do to with xenophobia……no the blame game is reserved for keen and lazy politicians, who use all these feelings of hatred and fear to develop a narrowly latched political agenda. Bristol is a poster city of what is described above.

  12. avatar
    Σιβόν Λεβή

    and they are not ALL refugees…most of them are illegal migrants trying to get to countries where they will be taking benefits without working.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Refugees do that anyway. They aren’t required to work, their cost of living is paid for by the state. At least, it is in the UK and I’m fairly confident that’s as a result of international legislation regarding the treatment of refugees/asylum seekers (it’s a vague and old memory, so I might be wrong about that). But I don’t want to come across as uncaring for their plight. My post was just for the purpose of clarity, not intended to stir bad feelings.

  13. avatar
    Σιβόν Λεβή

    VETTING THE MIGRANTS
    We need to vet all migrants & insist they repudiate political Sharia.
    The oath of citizenship should read:
    “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, sovereignty, religious legal system of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen”

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Why specify religious legal system? Surely to goodness law is law on a state by state basis, except in the case of international law (and EU law, added to that pile to further complicate the legal implications of anything you do . . . . . ). You cannot expect to travel to a place where the age of consent is 18 and have sex with 16 year olds and not face legal repercussions for your actions just because 16 year olds are at age of consent where you come from. Don’t make what is otherwise a valid point about new arrivals conforming (as a minimum legally speaking) with the place they arrive in become somethin distasteful by singling out religions and therefore muddy your opinion with discriminatory overtones.

    • avatar
      Rach

      I agree, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants all cause problems. Refugees allow their country like Syria to be over-run by isis and then cry help. Muslim countries should be helping them

  14. avatar
    Jean-Paul Potet

    In France, definitely. Homeless French people are abandoned on the street while invaders are being housed in castles, and other good buildings.

  15. avatar
    Paul Kennedy

    Of course they do . They have to use the services doctors , hospitals ect . We need to help the people that live here first . Why are the helpless and vulnerable here in UK not a priority first ?

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Because the UK governments always live up to their international obligations. Sadly, not all UK governments live up to their domestic duties.

  16. avatar
    Brian Bruce

    Yes. They also take benefits and NHS Services for which they have never contributed. On the positive side, they do bring exotic viruses and illnesses we had eradicated years ago, they are so unskilled and uneducated they will be on Welfare for years and….and….nah! There is no more good news.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Those without much/any spare are always the ones expected to give. If those 14 refugees from Bristol had been put up in the second homes for MP’s that we pay the mortgages on, the common people would be far less objectional. I had a friend from Australia stay with me a couple of weeks ago, do you know not one of my neighbours or people seeking a council house complained about it? It’s far easier to be civil when it’s not putting you out in any way shape or form than it is when you’re asked to go without for the sake of others. Don’t demonise basically decent people for saying “we don’t have enough to give” if you want to point fingers at anyone, aim them at the likes of Angela Merkel and her ilk who decided they want to put upon the people they are supposedly representing without making any meaningful concessions of their own.

  17. avatar
    Derek Hanks

    Do we have an excess of housing stock in this country? The answer to that also answers the question.

  18. avatar
    Terry Burrows

    Some hotels are full of them also, whereas many people cannot even afford to stay in a hotel!

  19. avatar
    Ruth Adkins

    Of course they do Britain is in the middle of a housing crisis if we cannot house brits how the hell can we be expected to house immigrants

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Actually, more accurately what they took is any chance of getting a house. The “They” being the governments of the last few decades though, not the refugees.

  20. avatar
    James Fothergill

    A refugee is not migrant and must not be treated like one, we haven’t dropped so low yet to mix them up,

    • avatar
      Duncan

      I’d be willing to bet that there are cases of migrants posing as refugees in order to stand more chance of getting accepted though.

  21. avatar
    Denis Cannon

    Of course ! Why question it ? There’s a finite stock of housing so obviously additional population will reduce available stock.
    An incredibly stupid question to ask.

  22. avatar
    Natassa Valtadorou

    I will read later but I can answer the question…
    No,these houses would not be for anyone,it would not cross the governor’s mind that there are also other people in need.This housing is there just because the refugees are there…

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Izabella, sollte dies eine Frage oder eine Aussage gewesen sein?

      Als “weibliche” Person, koennen Sie vielleicht erklaeren warum der einheimische Nachwuchs nicht mehr “funktioniert”- oder an ernsthafter “Unterfunktion” leidet?

      Was auch immer der Grund sein moege- Ihr Beitrag hat die Forum Frage misverstanden oder absichtlich verdreht- nicht wahr?

    • avatar
      Duncan

      It?

  23. avatar
    Tamara Jegorov

    We don’t need criminals and rapers here – we just wanna live in peace in our traditions.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      I don’t think anyone wants criminals and rapists anywhere. What’s that got to do with the question?

  24. avatar
    Sean Ro

    I’m from Scotland recently turned 21 and have been on the housing list since I was 16 right around the time the Syria and Libyan conflicts started I’ve been waiting 5 fucking years and yet they can house 1200 migrants in a town 5 miles away that’s fucking atrocious

  25. avatar
    nando

    They take? Really? Or they are given? And if so, by whom?

    • avatar
      Duncan

      The two are not mutually exclusive, you can take what is given. Besides, i think you have the question backwards. It’s do refugees take away social housing opportunities from locals, so it’s not about them taking anything so to speak. Merely does their being there detract from availability of social housing for local people.

    • avatar
      Mark

      No they don’t take the houses, they get drugged and wake up in bed with their signatures forged onto tenancy agreements on the night table next to them, it’s quite against their will they are given the things they apply for.

    • avatar
      f

      the tax payer

  26. avatar
    Yves Marie

    Les propositions de logements sociaux étant, par définition, limitées par pays, il est évident que l’apport de “nouveaux malheureux” redistribue les cartes ! S’évertuer à démontrer le contraire est une ineptie en terme de dépense d’énergie !

  27. avatar
    John Cruddas

    OF COURSE THEY BLOODY WELL DO ,WE HAVE 100k HOMELESS BRITISH CHILDREN ,WHY ARENT THEY GIVEN PRIORITY OVER SCROUNGING IMMIGRANTS ONLY HERE FOR WHAT THEY CAN GET

    • avatar
      Lillian mckinnon

      Hi my daughter and saverly autistic grandson have deen living with no hot water or heating since the 9th of January 20018 , my daughter is in dispute with the private landlord the landlord has sent her a notice to quite and it is for the 16th of February 2018 we stay in Glasgow we went to the govan law society thay have leaflets for the right and how asilum seeker can be helped we I asked if those rights applied to us I was told no only asiilum seekers we can’t get any help at all the homeless unit told us it’s my daughter own fault and won’t give her homeless status to get council house , why can no one help if my daughter had just came into the country she would not be allow to live like that but she was born hear and dose not have any rights it’s like hitting your head off a brick wall trying to get a liveable hose because we are Scottish you let me how that if fight

  28. avatar
    Helen Eldridge

    No we have unlimited housing don’t we???
    In la la land of course they do !!!! More people for same no of houses

  29. avatar
    Clint Kerridge

    they dont make enuff for us whos live hear & they are giving a ÷ to so called refugees yes they are taking our houses . my son works & has since he left school still cant get enuff money for a house .i know people who hav been on the housing list for 5/7 years and still waiting !. refugees gets a house 600£ sochal benifit every 2 weeks and a car . thats our govenments thinking for u

  30. avatar
    Steve Coates

    Yes they do, it’s amazing that the picture depicts 2 women when 99% of them appear to be young men with huge sexual appetites for white women.

  31. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    PS: At the same time EU leaders are surprised about the low European birth rates. They think young Europeans should start families in the rooms of shared apartments.

    Pps: Are known jihadists excluded from social housing?

  32. avatar
    Paul Farrant

    Of course they do, from the moment they step foot on our island they get given a place to live and money to survive on. The home they are given is a home taken away from a British citizen. There aren’t enough houses being built to house the British citizens let alone importing lots of foreigners aswell, and while they get given a home straight away there are thousands of people waiting on housing lists for council homes that don’t get built at all, or at least at a lot slower amount than a private built house, housing sites are building a few hundred homes here and there on sites across the country and only about 5-10% of the houses are for affordable housing. So people can’t afford to privately rent a suitable property for themselves or their families while a foreigner can come and get a house of any size and the government foots the bill for it. I’d rather be a foreigner coming in to Britain than actually be born here, they get treated a lot better than our own citizens. #DowningStreet #TheresaMay #LookAfterOurOwnFirst

  33. avatar
    Tim Morgan

    Is that a serious question ? If you have 1 single economic migrant in social housing that’s taking 1 house from a local person it’s not bloody rocket science

    • avatar
      Yasmine

      Ti ratsistiko uparxei Katerina sthn erothsh? Prosfuges mporoun na einai apo’pou na’nai. Kaneis den anaferetai sthn emfanish tous.

  34. avatar
    Sonia Micallef

    Are housing opportunities the only thing that they are taking? They are taking EUROPE. All of it!!! Are you BLIND by any chance?

    • avatar
      Shortcake

      I agree enough is enough

    • avatar
      Duncan

      No, no I won’t.

  35. avatar
    Pedro Pinheiro Augusto

    Refugees are clearly beeing used as scapegoats by a system that does not address the health, social security, economic and housing crisis. It is not the refugees fault that there are not enough social housing, or lack of funding for this and that. They are running for dear life, from wars that in the most part are the West fault, where the West sell billions in weapons that are used in the people that need to flee. Why are not the people of Europe outraged by increase in military spending, specially in ultra expensive weapons systems that are useless (like uk’s Trident and Lightning)? Why are the people of Europe not outraged over the banks bailouts and the amounts of money that is being injected in the financeiro sector instead of the real economy, of real people? Why people are not furious over corporations that explore and undermine third world economy, resulting in so many migrants searching for a better life? How come this is the refugees and the migrants fault? Why are we not angry against the system that is producing our own misery?!

    06/04/2017 Marja Nyrhinen, Head Coordinator of Immigration Affairs at the City of Tampere, has responded to this comment.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Care to explain why Trident and Lightning(2) are useless? That’s one area where I don’t mind my taxes being spent

      And the crisis in Syria is because the West didn’t intervene early enough, it seems no matter what the west’s policy on the Middle East is, the uneducated always like to blame the “warmongering west”

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Pedro, apart from military spending increases, which I feel have been massively siphoned away from until we have now reached a point where we may potentially not be able to defend our own people in the face of a foreign invasion using conventional warfare methods only. And where trident submarines are replaced before they become a critical danger from simply being old submarines carrying nuclear reactors in a salt water environment. What makes you think there’s no outrage about the things you speak of? I am outraged by the banking and corporate systems and the governments that have been complicit in their evolution into tyrannical forces for evil, all in the name of profits. I know I am not alone in these outrages.

  36. avatar
    Mike Hirst

    Of course they don’t ,accommodation for them magically appears and has no effect on British nationals looking for accommodation .

  37. avatar
    Spiros Angelopulo

    They get top priority…even localw are evicted from their homes ..to accommodate them…only solution send them back …

    • avatar
      Rach

      All migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan Romania (Criminals and perverts) should never have been allowed in, they cause trouble, live on benefits from ( hard working tax payers).

  38. avatar
    Paul Alexander

    Yes because they left their own country and came to are country, by that very process they impact are social housing stock and by doing so the displace the needs of the national people.

    Your question has only one obvious answer…
    Your just to dumb to realise it…

  39. avatar
    Bill Laing

    No brainer! We never had enough housing BEFORE the current crisis! So how can allowing more Refugees (and migrants) in be a solution?

  40. avatar
    Roger Peevor

    Our public services have been overloaded for 30 years and millions and millions still come,perhaps someone should direct them to the homes of politicians so they can live with them

  41. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    Of course, they do.

    But the problem can easily be solved by the EU – those ex-soviet EU countries with populations depleted due to many of their citizens migrating to the UK or Germany for instance should have tens-of thousands of empty houses free and available.

    The subsequent increase in populations WILL increase their respective GDPs.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      No, thank you, no more Muslim invasions. We have already lived under a brutal Islamic State (the Ottoman Empire) for 500 years. You can have them, you increase your GDP with them. We will increase ours without the “help” of Muslim refugees. Our empty villages (not cities) will be filled by Bulgarians returning from abroad who have left in search for better job opportunities. Nothing can replace the home where the heart is, even the best job in the world. So, if anyone put your suggestion to the governments of the former Communist countries, it would be outright rejected. This is NOT the solution. Besides, we already have a problem with internal refugees – the Roma gypsies – who need housing on a massive scale as most of them live illegally on other people’s properties.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Maia Alexandrova
      Where is your solidarity?

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      Where is yours??? Take them all to UK to prove your solidarity, why send them to Eastern Europe?

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Maia, the UK has a shortage of available housing for these refugees. So much so in fact that as stated above, Bristol which has one of the largest social housing portfolios in the country has a waiting list of 10,000! So, whilst the people of the UK may want to see an end to the plight of these people, we don’t have anywhere to put them. What would be the point in us letting them all come here I they’ll be living on the streets? How exactly is that suitable for their needs? Tarquin has suggested that due to the millions of eastern Europeans living in the UK and therefore not living in Eastern Europe anymore there may be space for them there, what’s so wrong with this idea to you? Why would you want to see 5 million people from Syria alone, not counting other war stricken countries homeless, stateless jobless and without safety, let alone acceptable quality of life? Because they’re muslim? I can only assume you are not a Christian, Jewish or a Buddhist, since your attitude is severely uncharitable towards your fellow human beings. And so if you aren’t against Muslims because of religious differences, which frankly is still a terrible view to take, then what is your objection?

  42. avatar
    Kyou Fujibayashi

    They are jumping the house ladder, overloading schools and many locals are left waiting persistently for work while companies choose them for cheap labour. With the huge influx, our Green Belt could be threatened as well. A few migrants a year used to be fine before Blair’s election. Now I want to destroy him for how much damage he’s caused this country

  43. avatar
    Satya Einstein Francesco

    Yesterday an asylum seeker expressed hid deep shocked how he flet from his wife and and country and he coun’t but praised the Italy because he is in Italy now…The operatrice also responed him that there are lot of problems in Italy and the commissions are denying to maximun refugees.
    Its a real situation not only in Italy but also somr coutries or many countries situations are the same images and lacking of the houses in general. Refugees flet from tgeir own countries in search of jobs, houses , spouses and somthings else. The operatrice Italiana also reminded him the events and the invasions of the humanity from one places to another ftom the 1500 century to 2015 or now (the seekers of wealths and healths).

  44. avatar
    Katrin Mpakirtzi

    Refugges as Yezidi who genocided from Isis are not migrands. Its a big differend if you are in danger and you need asylum that europe should understand. We cant be eurasia with so differend values and..troubles. In countries with 25.% unemployds is impossible to find any work. So those people will be in bad condition and as we already)see they start selling drugs(syrians afgans pakistan young people(!). Its bless to find jobs but is not possible. Turkey and fanatics islamists(in Africa also) used them as… gun against europe and this is Crime not migration. If you want freedom you should fight not just find roads to escape . Mosxa and Whasington are responsible also for that situation in Europe and i think they… like it …
    to create troubles to europeans. They dont take refufees…they just create them

    • avatar
      Rach

      YES Madamme Merkle is the cause of an eroding EU and it’s bunch of hypocrites send all refugees to Germany Merkle will do it with open arms.

  45. avatar
    Gianfranco Gattini

    no doubt ! elder people in Italy must only die as soon as possible..this the socialist PD regime new policy !!

  46. avatar
    Tony Sanders

    It’s true that already there is a housing shortage. Allowing migrants and refugees into Europe and the U.K. especially without building houses is stupid. Last year approximately 400,000 people arrived into this country, if 100,000 houses are not built and subsidised by the government (because many incomers have either no income or very low income) then problems will arise. 20 people living in a house designed for a family of five are not unheard of, higher rents and house prices are also on the cards.

  47. avatar
    Christine Jackson Counelis

    I’d like to believe that the awareness of needs for safety net programs is improved by the crisis that no one can turn their back upon. Let’s hope we learn from this to be more pro active in prevention and protection of all the needy sectors in this messed up world of ours. still time to take better care of the least of these.

  48. avatar
    Antonios Forlidas

    Debating Europe, did you ever take into consideration the fact that europeans are responsible for the death , the misery, the refugees influx and the destruction of the countries where they are coming from?

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Of course they are, the skies over Syria are full of people from Bristol dropping barrel bombs on the civilian population……

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Paul x, Antonios specifically said Europeans, not people from Bristol. Also, while the entire population of Bristol might not be involved in air and missile strikes, you cannot categorically say nobody from Bristol took part in them. Even Russia’s political allies troops are Syrians after all. And I’d say that everyone in the developed world had to take at least a share of the blame since they’ve done an absolutely pathetic job of organising the international community around UN peacekeeping efforts instead of all piling in with their own armed forces and agendas. I think the whole thing is despicable.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      My (heavily sarcastic) post is in response to his accusation that Europeans are responsible for everything, you can maybe indirectly blame Europe to a certain degree but much higher up the list are:
      President Assad
      Syrian Anti-Assad groups
      ISIS
      Russia
      America

      and the current crisis is well beyond the capability of UN peacekeeping, possibly 6 years ago it may had some impact but I doubt it would have got a mandate to intervene anyway

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Paul x, I agree completely. The UN has never lived up to it’s mandate. But I’m also aware of the reasons behind this. The veto’s of certain members, the desire to protect domestic agendas on a global scale through the UN, effectively claiming to seek world peace while undermining it’s interests in favour of your own nation’s foreign policies, the fact that the UN does not have representation from every sovereign state, the list is almost endless.
      But I still think the UN concept if endorsed and enforced equally across the globe represents our best chance for world peace, the abolishment of hostile invasion by individual states onto another individual state, only permitting UN lead, multi national peacekeeping forces to intervene militarily on foreign soil without impeaching international law. And even then, only to prevent foreign invasion, militarised opposition to government, or to prevent genocide or military/political oppression within that state. While we have Russia and the US using proxy wars like Syria to be able to lash out at each other without risking an all out war that neither side could really “win” then innocent people will die and suffer. The U.S. has accused Assad’s regime and Russia of war crimes in Syria. I’d go further than that and accuse the entire world for being complicit or guilty of war crimes in Syria, and indeed many other places.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      In short, the EU needed to stop at a free trade arrangement, global cooperation needed to be done from a UN stance and it should have been done from a stance of respecting sovereignties but enforcing protection of life from the international community.

    • avatar
      Mark

      I’m not sure you know what “responsible” means. I think you meant to use the phrase “entirely and un-arguably entirely non-responsible” ,it’s and easy mistake to make, they seem quite similar, but are actually polar opposites.

  49. avatar
    Meg Elis

    No. We have more housing given to English problem families dumped here in Wales. Refugees are not a problem :see how they have been welcomed in Ceredigion.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Meg Elis
      Didn’t Wales vote to get out of the EU?

    • avatar
      Yasmine

      Failing to see your point, Tarquin. Is there one? Perhaps it is the problem English families that voted for Brexit in Wales. is this what you are trying to say?

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Yasmine
      Sorry, I could not quite comprehend your pseudo-English.

      Would you please care to elaborate upon your pointless point?

  50. avatar
    Pamela Rose

    Yep without a doubt..a freind of mine (in a womans refuge with 2 kids) had to move 20 miles away to a town she didnt know ..wheteas they housed 5 families of refugees in houses purchased off the open market in the town she needed to stay in…uprooting the kids from school and making her leave the place she knew…so yeah definately

    • avatar
      Duncan

      I thought women’s refuges always moved people away so as to prevent them being discovered?

  51. avatar
    José Lambrux Gonçalves

    Yes, it is so hard to find one. That was a case in my bilding that one student needed go out for they take the apartment, yes we are on that point.

  52. avatar
    Roger Peevor

    Anyone who migrates to this country automatically becomes an immigrant,regardless of whether they seek refuge or a handout and they all need roof over their head and that is the problem,its not about people in need its about numbers

    • avatar
      Duncan

      That’s a nice clinical, non emotionally involved way to think of these people. Must make easier to object without upsetting your conscience.

  53. avatar
    catherine benning

    Yes, they do. And not just one or two. All of them here in the UK take away social housing as they go straight to the top of the list because they claim homelessness. It is an outrage what the indigenous people of Europe are accepting from their politicians. Time to get rid of all these traitors to our country and our people. They were not voted in by us to destroy our society by encouraging a foreign invasion of biblical proportions as they have done and are still doing. Even though they are pretending to put a crackdown on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwMe4YBcE0o

    And here it is from a Muslim point of view.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkHQIfWCgbE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2-yuJkhk2w

    This is done in order to reduce the pay of the indigenous people and to lower their standard of living to a level that resembles the third world. With all the filth that goes with that lifestyle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiRLnlUvNmg

  54. avatar
    Yasmine

    Well, that question is down to the Council’s data to answer and not subject to a debate. However, my understanding of how it works is that the person that is in need the most gets the social housing place. So the locals that miss out don’t actually have it that bad and can perhaps go without?

    • avatar
      Paul X

      That is a very idealistic opinion Yasmine, to me you should not make a decision on who is most “in need” but also who is “most deserving”

      Every immigrant turning up on our shores with nothing but the clothes they stand in is clearly very much “in need” but what about working, tax paying locals living in cramped conditions with two or three generations of the same family living in a three bed flat because there is no available housing, are they not more deserving?…I’m sure in their eyes they are

  55. avatar
    Hannah

    Europe has to make more housing oppertunities.

  56. avatar
    Cara

    With millions of refugees coming to Europe, more schools, homes, hospitals ect. will have to be built in order to support all of the population. It really all depends on how much land it takes up.

    06/04/2017 Marja Nyrhinen, Head Coordinator of Immigration Affairs at the City of Tampere, has responded to this comment.

  57. avatar
    Kyndal

    I know for a fact some people live in poverty, and social housing gives them a place to live. And refugees sort of take that away.

  58. avatar
    jack roberts

    this is the worst thing ever

  59. avatar
    Mark

    No, of course not! When a refugee takes a flat or a room another flat or room just pops into existance.

  60. avatar
    Donna pullin

    I think it’s unfair that people who are born and live in the U.K. That already live in or need extra social housing are not always priority over someone who lives in another country

  61. avatar
    AA

    We know that there are not many refugees particularly from Syria in Bristol but there are lots of economic migrants, so this means nothing. Brits cannot apply in their hometown, if ties are not strong enough yet new people have zero ties

  62. avatar
    Coralie Reuter

    I have been told by my local housing department (FACS) that there is nothing they can do to intervene before I become absolutely homeless with no options available to me with regards to a place to call home.
    I am a 66 year old pensioner with nothing…just the Age Pension
    with no money, no where to go, but the street….
    The housing tell me there is no housing available
    I have seen with my own eyes where the “so called” refugees have been housed
    in Barton Road, Artarmon for example: where there are 100’s of people from overseas that have been housed by the Government (without a 10 year wait time) If you look around the place (Barton Road) you can’t help but notice 90% of them have brand new BMW cars, they have businesses etc etc living a life of luxury (it’s not rocket science to work it out) one just needs to observe….WHY DON’T THEY HAVE CASE MANAGERS VISITING THEM ? (What a joke)
    even though I have had my application in for 2 years and now that all my options are depleted because of lack of action on their behalf, I have been left with no where to go except begging for help on the street ? I think someone of my age would make it very difficult to recover from this
    I have NO FAMILY, only a companion dog that I may lose because of my homelessness.
    I have no hop in hell of getting housing for many years and probably end up in a mental facility or dead before something is done
    I definitely think the Government has been taken for fools by these so called Refugees Haha
    The only sad thing is – I have to suffer whilst those people are safe and warm in their little homes supplied by our taxpayers
    Cheers

  63. avatar
    Jenni Windsor

    They take over the NHS I’m dritish born and bred I can’t hardly walk and they want to give me the cheaper treatment that won’t do nothing it seems that the government ;soical; NHS ect push use British to one side and put or give all the immigrants and foriners what ever they want it is really pissing me of I pay my taxes and they don’t care this country is not call Britain no more it called instead all foriner s and migrants come over for free and the British people will pay I would rather go to prison and not pay no taxes for these parisits no more

  64. avatar
    Ali Hassan

    I come to UK bcause it was the best European countries for free money and houses and medicals. You can’t blame the refugee for accepting free houses and monies! Blame yourselfs bcause you voted for your government and allow for owners to come and take advantage.
    Many of us claimed benefits in Germany bcause of lack of checks and then come to UK and do the same and monies still continue to be paid to our family in other countries. Funny that you give us more monies for having more babies!?! So we keep our women pregnant all the time and get more? I still can’t believe why you are governments make such as idea but I won’t complain!
    Europe has made many people like me rich. I save a lot of monies till one day I will buy my own house in my own countries and not have to work ever again.
    All I ask now is for much bigger house in Uk. Small compared to Germany.
    I love the countries but the people are becoming more and more unfriendly. It’s not fair to blame refugee for your ideas.
    Thank you UK and Europe…

  65. avatar
    Audrey

    Am Irish homeless and jobless! receiving no help. The only people I meet on the streets are South Americans and Europeans we have been forgotten all housing, financial benefits go to the poor migrants! What about us? My grandfather died for his country what a waste of his effort. The Red cross does not help us only Muslims and refugees the system is back to front. Am not surprised the far right is growing and rising resentment across Europe! Help the locals first. These migrants get everything! Wake up politicians!! Change your policies before anarchy takes hold and it will come.

  66. avatar
    John

    Yes, refugees do take away social housing from locals. I’ve served my country, in the British Army, I was homeless 2 years ago. Did anyone want to know, did they hell as like. At the same time I was homeless, sleeping in my car, a family of 3 Syrian refugees up the road got a council house. So I knew my place in the queue, right at the back, I had to help myself get accomodation. We, in this country, Britian should look after our own FIRST. Then, if there is any room left that’s when we should offer it, a lot of these so called ” refugees ” are economic migrants, that’s not really a refugee is it ? Charity begins at home, then, any charity left over can be given away.

  67. avatar
    dave

    im sure refugees used to flee to the next country stick it out with humanitarian aid then return home when the conflict had finished not travel thousands of miles, they have no intent on returning home at anytime in the future

  68. avatar
    dave

    im sure refugees used to flee to the next country stick it out with humanitarian aid then return home when the conflict had finished not travel thousands of miles, they have no intent on returning home at anytime in the future

  69. avatar
    Lizzy B

    My family is from Bristol, yet I was forced to leave and move away to a cheaper place several hours away because of being on too low an income to rent privately once the rents skyrocketed, and having zero chance of social housing…I’m too responsible to have children I can’t afford to look after, and single people have no priority…so my family connections are no more, I’m hours away from family and hardly see them now. If i was from somewhere else and had no family there it would be far easier to get social housing! I’ve met several very young, single Somali men who have social housing in Bristol, while locals are forced to rent a room in a shared house well into their 50s, and sometimes older! I don’t think a place should be a ‘city of sanctuary when there is no sanctuary for people who are actually from there..its a sick joke as far as im concerned, as having to leave pretty much ruined my life and made me feel like a refugee, with no refuge accessible to me in my own city! The numbers of homeless on the streets of Bristol is staggering, many of these are local people who are unable to afford private renting but have no chance at social housing. It’s not refugees and migrants fault that they’re put ahead of everyone else in the council’s set of priorities, but to say that importing more people into any place when there’s already a huge housing crisis doesn’t affect local people is insane, you can see it’s not true just by using your eyes. There are areas of Bristol that are almost entirely Somalian, and others in that area feel uncomfortable and sometimes threatened living there. Myself and three friends(who are jamaican) have been attacked physically by young Somali men. They have no respect for women and are very homophobic, which puts these vulnerable groups at risk of harrassment if they live in Somali dominated areas, many Somali women are not allowed to have a life of their own or even leave their home because of the archaic attitudes of the men. I found them awful to live near personally (the men, not the women) they were very rude in the streets if you’re a white or black British female, glaring at you, blocking the street so you can’t pass, even spitting. I’d love to move back to Bristol where my family are, but can’t afford to rent privately there now. So it does make locals resentful that whole areas are given to Somali people who don’t even have to wait long for housing. It doesn’t really matter where the additional people come from, it’s irrelevant really, it’s the lack of help and ‘sanctuary’ for poor people with local connections that’s galling. It’s like the council is deliberately replacing locals with others by giving no priority to people with a local family connection, I know many locals who have left Bristol because of housing, which has split up families and communities because people simply have no option but to flee to wherever they can access a roof.

  70. avatar
    REO

    THIS ANGERS ME TO NO END: So they “opened the doors” to THAT MANY refugees and OUR AMERICANS (including myself) have been struggling ever since college basically and working at ANY JOB I COULD FIND and I still don’t have enough saved to even purchase a decent house, I see destruction EVERYWHERE, COVID is still here, we’re running out of supplies ourselves, our country is already too overpopulated, traffic sucks and too many are without houses or jobs RIGHT NOW and they give FREE HOUSING AND MONEY TO THE PEOPLE that OUR US Solders DIED FIGHTING for WTF is wrong with this picture and with this new Administration HAVE THEY LOST THEIR FUCK IN MIND?!!! Are they even Americans?!!! They can say that they were “Interpreters” all they want but I DON’T BELIEVE IT and I think this is a BIG MISTAKE AND WHY DID THEY GET HERE BEFORE OUR AMERICAN SOLDERS GOT OUR OF THAT sorry to say but GOD FORSAKEN COUNTRY?!!! Like WHY is our country becoming a “trash can” for all the World to come as they please and to get THE SAME RIGHTS and MORE as we are getting?!!!!! I’m usually NOT A HATER, a few exceptions would have been OK I think but THIS IS NOT FAIR any idiot would see that I’m right and I’M NOT HAPPY about this AT ALL… :/

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