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New ArrivalsHousing Advisers

BMENational and the Chartered Institute of Housing welcome you to the Housing Rights website


Stop press: On 1st March the DWP introduced new guidance on who may qualify as a worker or self-employed person, based on an initial check on earnings.  This is guidance, not legislation or regulation, and may affect income-based JSA and housing benefit entitlement or may lead to delays in deciding claims for these benefits. This guidance does not affect eligibility for a housing allocation or for homelessness services.  We will be amending the relevant web pages soon.  The official guidance relating to housing benefit is available here.

Transitional restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians were lifted on 1st January. Also, from the same date, new rules affect access to welfare benefits for newly arrived jobseekers who have never worked. The website has been updated with these changes. 

New guidance has been issued to English councils about allocating social housing. Councils are not obliged to make these changes so policies will continue to vary at local level. Advice will be included in the website when next updated.

The website has new pages on helping destitute migrants - developed with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Click on the tab for people who are destitute to see the basic guidance; look at the adviser pages for detailed guidance.

The Housing Rights website aims to provide accurate information to recent arrivals and to advisers about entitlements to housing, based on people's immigration status.

If you're a housing adviser and you want information about the housing rights of new arrivals, please look first at the relevant pages below and the links to the legal provisions. For further help on common problems met by advisers, please click here.

Click here for information about Housing Rights in Scotland. Advice on housing rights in Northern Ireland can be obtained from the Housing Rights Service.

The CIH Housing Rights website has detailed information for different categories of new arrival. Please note:

  • a 'new arrival' may fall into more than one category so you may need to check different pages
  • we have tried to keep the language as simple as possible - but you can find the meaning of terms such as 'European Economic Area' on the relevant pages.

The categories of new arrival are described below and can also be seen by clicking the tabs at the top of each page.

Information for people who have been granted refugee status, people with discretionary leave, humanitarian protection and exceptional leave.
Information for people who have been granted indefinite leave to remain.

For people with work permits and people with limited leave.
For people from the European Economic Area and Switzerland who are workers or self-employed in the UK.

For people from the European Economic Area and Switzerland who are not working in the UK, but might be studying or are self-sufficient.
For family members of people from the European Economic Area or Switzerland who are in the UK and might be working or studying.

For migrants who are homeless without enough money to buy basic food or shelter.
For nationals of Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, the newest countries to join the EU.

For people who have arrived to join someone as a wife or husband, cohabiting with them or as a civil partner - and then can no longer stay in the relationship because of violence.
Information for people with social care needs.
Chartered Institute of Housing

Background Topics

How can we improve housing for new migrants in the UK?

Chartered Institute of Housing