News and Information
Refugees

Those granted refugee status or given leave to remain in the UK, unless otherwise stated on their papers, have been able to prove that they have the right to live in the United Kingdom and are entitled to seek employment, housing and access state benefits. They are afforded the same rights and responsibilities under the law as any other UK resident. Once in this position many will opt to take up full British citizenship and will undertake a test on knowledge of British life and culture where they must show a good grasp of the English language and life in the UK. Some people are granted refugee status as a result or war or natural disaster whereas others will have come through the asylum system.

If, as a former asylum seeker, they had been living in Home Office contracted accommodation, they are normally given 28 days notice to leave that accommodation. From this point, they must find their own housing either through their own efforts or via local authority homelessness services. As a refugee, they are given no special status and must qualify for statutory homelessness services the same as anyone else.

To qualify for local authority housing under the Housing Act, they must be:

  • Eligible.
  • Homeless.
  • In priority need (due to vulnerability or dependent children).
  • Not intentionally homeless.
  • Have a local connection to the area.

This is the period when all Home Office support will cease and they may access state benefits or finally be allowed to legally seek employment. It is in everyone’s interest to make that transition as smooth, effective and successful as possible.

In many cases those who have sought asylum in the UK are those who have had the means to escape persecution. Many of these people are highly qualified and highly educated or skilled individuals. Given the opportunity and the support they will make a valuable contribution to the UK’s skills base, our services, industries and to our communities.

HHUK seeks to work with local authorities, refugee community organisations and the voluntary sector to help towards the integration of people, who have a clear right under International law to live in the UK free from fear and persecution, and welcome them into our communities giving them the opportunity both to rebuild their lives and contribute to the economy, as many already do and as Refugees have contributed to Britain in all walks of life for many centuries.

With this aim, we will work hard to ensure that all of our service users receive the correct support to enable them to have the very best opportunity to move into successful, independent living.