DIRT, broken furniture, intimidation and isolation.

This is the reality faced by a majority of migrants - many of whom have fled oppressive regimes, famines and natural disasters - who are living in West Yorkshire and beyond.

The findings were part of a study by academics at Leeds Beckett University which revealed the inadequate housing conditions 158 UK migrants are experiencing.

One of those who participated in the research was a 26-year-old migrant from Uganda who was left crippled with fear after being housed with ex-convicts while living in Bradford.

Another 23-year old who identified themselves as African described their living situation as “living in a room, and in a bad area, felt like hell”.

Their true stories have since been captured in a comic strip in the‘Home Truths’ project, designed by Karrie Fransman, in an attempt to shine a light on the difficulties many encounter and win more support for those in need.

Researchers found consistent problems such as overcrowding while 21 per cent of participants felt they had to hide aspects of their religion or sexuality.

50 per cent reported that they couldn’t be themselves while living with strangers.

On average migrants had to commute 38 minutes to get to the nearest city centre and 35 per cent of the sample did not feel safe in the area they lived in.

The data showed that 61 per cent of migrants reported no problems with their housing providers and 4 per cent shared positive experiences.

But 22 per cent reported that housing providers didn’t take their concerns seriously and 7% said they were unfairly scrutinised.

Dr Glen Jankowski, Senior Lecturer in the Leeds School of Social Sciences at LBU, said: “Young migrants face enormous difficulties getting to the UK and sadly, their difficulties do not always stop when they are here.

“The Stand Up 4 Refugees group of young Leeds-based unaccompanied migrants have been doing their own research and advocacy around migrant issues. We wanted to add our voices to theirs by encouraging people to sign petitions for providers such as MEARS to provide Wi-Fi to asylum seekers or to donate to relevant charities such as Micro Rainbow that provide safe asylum accommodating for LGBT asylum seekers.

“The comic is based on very simple survey findings with UK migrants about their housing conditions when they first arrived in the UK.

“We are also conducting an ongoing photovoice project with young migrants asking them to represent ‘good’, ‘okay’, and ‘poor’ aspects of their homes using photographs.”

Dr Jankowski worked alongside colleagues Caroline Mountain, Lecturer in the Youth Work & Community Development Team, Susan Coan, Research Officer in the School of Health & Community Studies, and Divine Charura, Professor in Psychology, on the wider project to highlight housing issues for UK migrants.

This project was supported by funds from LBU’s Centre for Psychological Research also known as PsyCen.

Participants were asked a series of questions about their housing experiences when they first came to the UK. Most of the participants self-defined their ethnicity as Asian, black, mixed or other.