Housing People
Housing for Refugees with HHUK

Many of those organisations contracted to the UKBA to provide accommodation to asylum seekers, simply issue notice to quit their home, once they are notified of a positive decision on their asylum case, as this is the time when financial support and housing costs will cease being paid to the provider by the UKBA. This means that unless they can quickly secure somewhere else to live, then at very short notice people must leave their homes and apply to the local authority as a homeless applicant.

HHUK is working towards providing refugees with an alternative to the homelessness route and is already working with local authorities to offer direct access to private sector housing. We do this in a number of ways:

  1. Where possible, we may transfer the accommodation from a dispersal asylum property into an assured short-hold tenancy (AST). Alternatively, we may have operated a delayed eviction scheme locally to allow local authorities time to provide a suitable housing solution.
  2. Our next step, and what we believe to be the best way forward, is to give refugees an option to move directly into local housing from within our portfolio. By providing an alternative route to homelessness and the need for local authority run temporary accommodation, the scheme offers a money saving option for local authorities and greater choice for refugees, who are justifiably reluctant to enter hostels or yet another temporary address. This is already proving to be a successful option that has been taken up by a number of local authorities and support agencies.
  3. Having a large portfolio of properties and the ability to quickly source suitably located accommodation, HHUK is able to give refugees a choice and take some of the pressure away from the local authority.
  4. Agreements with local homelessness teams and revenue and housing benefits teams mean that we can immediately provide a housing solution for their clients.
  5. By providing this service and taking responsibility for it, we are able to minimise disruption to family lives, the need to change children’s schools or GPs and allow people to remain, if they choose, in a locality where they feel safe, secure and familiar.
  6. It is recognised that during this period, a refugees may be at their most vulnerable. At this time as once the main concern about being allowed to remain in the UK has been resolved, all the reasons they had to flee their country of origin and the trauma they went through can often resurface. The last thing they need once they know they can remain in the UK is the fear and worry about becoming homeless.
  7. We will work directly with any provider, service or local authority or take direct referrals on a case by case basis in order to prevent Homelessness and alleviate the pressures on local authority homelessness services.