Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Shed life

May 18 2009
Berkshire Council inspectors have found an "alarming number" of garden sheds being built for accommodation Hundreds of migrant workers are living in garden sheds because of housing shortages. Council inspectors in Slough, Berkshire, have found an "alarming number" of huts being built for accommodation in back gardens. These attract large numbers of workers as cheap shelters. Up to eight people were found living in the sheds - which do not yet have running water, toilets or cooking facilities. Andrew Blake-Herbert, director of finance and property at Slough Borough Council, said: "The only thing we can do is close them down, but we have found some unscrupulous landlords simply wait for a bit then open them up again. "There are no facilities at all. It's the cheapest accommodation they can find." Legal migrants have to work for 12 months before they are eligible for housing benefit, so many struggle to find accommodation when they first arrive in the UK. As with all below-standard housing, councils have the option of closing it down or bringing it up to a decent standard at the landlord's expense. Mr Blake-Herbert added: "Obviously, with a shed with no running water, it makes no sense to bring it up to a living standard, so we close it down and hand it back to the landlord."