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New Build (Migrants)

Volume 504: debated on Tuesday 26 January 2010

3. If he will estimate the proportion of houses to be built in the next five years which will be occupied by migrants. (312950)

We have no policy on the allocation of market housing, nor would that be appropriate. Foreign nationals who are eligible to apply for an allocation of social housing will have their housing needs considered against those of all other eligible applicants in accordance with the local housing authority’s allocation scheme.

I am not sure whether the Minister answered the question I asked, but may I push it further? The House of Commons Library tells me that 30 per cent. of new houses will be occupied by migrants coming into this country. Does he agree that if the next Conservative Government limited immigration to this country each year, there would be less need for houses and less need for overdevelopment?

It is important that I make it clear, as it would be unfortunate to introduce race to the debate, which perhaps ought not to be introduced, that the overwhelming majority of household growth in this country over the next five years will be indigenously fuelled by increased fertility, increased life expectancy and more people than ever living alone.

I thank my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing for coming to York at the weekend, and also the Government for providing funding for new council housing in York. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that their money for housing projects—whether for private developers or for housing associations or councils—provides apprenticeships in the local area in the building trades?

It is crucial that every development has some apprenticeships attached to it. As Thames Gateway Minister, that is something I have encouraged. I am incredibly proud of the fact that we have invested £2 billion in housing growth, which will lead to many apprenticeships. There is £1.5 billion extra funding to councils and housing associations, which will build some 15,500 new affordable homes, with all the apprenticeships that will go alongside them.