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Solution sought to homeless migrant problem

May 22 2009
Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps condemns the lack of accurate figures on migration and homelessness The Conservative Party is continuing its pursuit of a solution to homelessness by addressing the increase in migrant Europeans finding themselves on London's streets. Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps attended a meeting at the Upper Room in West London in July at which volunteers, rough sleepers and Eastern European migrants discussed the issue. In the last homeless head count in Westminster alone, 110 Accession10 migrants, or A10s, were sleeping rough. The Upper Room has reported a significant and continued increase in the number of migrants arriving in the UK, and the main concern is that they arrive without proper information on what is available to them. The West London centre has become a specialist in the field since recruiting a number of Polish translators to help support those who find themselves unable to work after arriving in the UK. They said there had been a mushroom effect in the number of squats cropping up in the city in the last four years. Unemployment is high in Poland and other Eastern European countries, and people often come to the UK in search of quick, well paid work. Many come with naive assumptions about how easy it will be to obtain work, but government legislation for A10s makes it complicated for migrants to claim any support should they be unable to find immediate employment. Mr Shapps blamed the lack of accurate, up-to-date figures on migration and homelessness for the current inability to cope with the problem, and promised those present he would write a report on the matter to take to Parliament.