A Major city has pledged to house hundreds of Syrian refugees despite being gripped by homelessness and demands for social housing. Birmingham city councillors will “put their arms out to welcome” 500 migrants under the Tory Government’s resettlement scheme. There were 18,834 individual applicants on the council’s homeless register as well as 464 homeless families in 2009 according to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The controversial decision to house refugees comes as part of city council’s plan to make Birmingham a “City of Sanctuary” for Syrian asylum seekers. During a meeting at a city church, council leader John Clancy said: “This city will put its arms out to welcome refugees from those UN camps, 500 of them over this next few years. FULL REPORT