Housing foreigners in social council housing.

Nearly half a million immigrants have been given taxpayer-funded homes over the past decade.

The revelation comes as the number of families on the waiting list for social housing hits a record 1.8million. Most are British born.

Of the four million migrants who arrived between 2001 and 2011, 469,843 were allocated council or housing association properties.

Around 1.2million foreigners now live in social housing – one in eight of the total. In London the figure is thought to be as high as one in five.

The national census statistics, which were released yesterday, highlight fears about increased pressure on public services when Romanians and Bulgarians win free access to jobs in this country in January.

The figures also show the effects of the large-scale immigration encouraged by the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown governments.

According to the census, 105,506 of the immigrants who found social housing after 2001 were from Eastern European states that joined the EU in 2004, most of them Poles.

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