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Cardiff sees rise in homeless migrants

October 01 2009
Eastern European workers tempted by false promises lose jobs at short notice Cardiff's city council has reported an increase in the number of migrant workers left homeless and destitute in the city, without access to benefits or housing help. The effects of the economic downturn, as well as a legal block preventing migrants from certain countries claiming benefits, has meant increased numbers of rough sleepers in the city from eastern European countries, the charity Shelter Cymru has reported. Research officer James Radcliffe told the press: "Quite a few people are being brought over under false pretences by employment agencies and are being offered accommodation." After the jobs finish, which can be after as little as a month, people are being left without work and accommodation at short notice, said Mr Radcliffe. If workers from countries such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria cannot prove they have been in continuous employment for 12 months or more, they are not entitled to apply for benefits or housing assistance under EU law, and many have been forced into sleeping rough. A Cardiff council spokeswoman said: "32 individuals have been sleeping rough over the last six weeks. Of the 32 recorded, 11 have been central or eastern European migrants. None has access to public funds, with five having underlying drug and/or alcohol issues - one with serious alcohol-induced health problems."
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