Letter: ‘Your New Forest correspondent attributes the shortage of homes to immigrants.’
Your correspondent Mr Fancett (A&T 10th Nov) attributes the shortage of homes to immigrants as if they all arrive with the means to buy homes in UK.
The Windrush migrants were invited here to work in the public services on which society and post-war reconstruction depended. They brought their own need for social housing. Wherever immigrant families were judged to be in greater need, it fuelled racist resentment. Today’s homelessness is a logical conclusion of ideological political aversion to social housing.
Providing homes today depends mainly on the prospect of substantial profits for private corporations seeking to justify huge financial risks. Scarcity is part of the calculation. Maintaining it lessens those risks and enhances the profits. Without immigrant workers, fewer homes could be built.
Nimbyism masquerading as preserving bucolic charm also contributes to the shortage of homes.
An underlying demographic trend is an increasing and rapidly ageing population; a time bomb. Growing numbers of dependents with increasing life expectancies are reliant on a decreasing proportion of taxpayers. How can this problem be addressed without immigration?
Blaming foreigners may bring instant gratification but there’s always more to it. That’s why it’s Parliament’s job to address society’s challenges. At the risk of electoral oblivion, politicians should not ask what we want but tell us what’s wrong and how they propose to fix it. The EU plebiscite asked a facile question leaving parliament stuck with the still-unresolved mess and blamed for the challenges it wrought. Parliament represented that outcome; a nation divided.
Meanwhile, we could see the return of the days of visibly rotting teeth without substantial immigration of dentists. They would almost certainly be buying homes.