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What's new? - recent updates to the site

This page summarises updates to the site and new publications relevant to migrants' housing rights. Go to the Brexit page for news on the rights of EU and EEA nationals after the UK leaves the EU.

Deportation of homeless EU citizens challenged

The European Commission has said that expelling citizens solely because they are homeless contravenes free movement rules. Migrant Rights Network says that this will strengthen the legal challange being made against Home Office expulsions.

New private residential tenancies begin in Scotland

The Scottish pages on tenancies in the private rented sector have been updated because a new form of tenancy began in Scotland in December 2017.

'Universal credit' is replacing housing benefit and some other benefits

Universal credit (UC) now replaces housing benefit for more and more applicants across England, Wales and Scotland. As a general rule:

  • you cannot get UC in a 'live service area' if you are a person from abroad (including those subject to immigration control) and therefore if you are making a new claim you must claim 'legacy benefits' (i.e. housing benefit) instead
  • in live service areas for UC, the same rules about eligibility for housing benefit also apply to your UC claim in its entirety, regardless of whether you claim the housing costs element. The only obvious difference is that there is no exception for those on a 'passport' benefit because there are none.

Universal credit will be fully explained in a future update to the website.

Grenfell Tower - immigration 'amnesty'

This Free Movement blog explains the latest terms of the 'amnesty' offered to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Room for Refugees becomes UK-wide

PAIH in Scotland has a UK-wide hosting scheme for refugees and those seeking asylum who become destitute. It has 6,500 families registered as hosts. Contact details are here.

'Right to rent' checks in the private rented sector 

Document checks now have to be carried out on all applicants for a new tenancy. The rules apply only in England but may be extended to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland later. See the page on renting from a private landlord for basic information and the page on advising migrants looking for accommodation for more detail. From 1st December 2016, landlords who fail to make proper checks may be subject to criminal proceedings. 

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has identified misleading advice on house guests in the Home Office guidance. It implies (section 3.5) that house guests' documents may have to be checked if they pay rent or if they do not have another main home. The latter point is incorrect. This applies equally to all 'hosting' arrangements or any similar schemes where no rent or equivalent is paid: they are not covered by the right to rent provisions now and will not be in December when new, strengthened provisions come into effect.

Eligibility for those with limited leave to remain

New rules for certain people with limited leave apply in England from 30 October 2016 and in Wales from 22 June 2017. They are explained in detail on the page on the law on housing eligibility. The page includes a link to a consolidated version of the English regulations.

Syrian refugees

The Home Office is running a special scheme to assist Syrian refugees currently living in refugee camps. The LGA has a dedicated web page. Read about ways in which your organisation can help Syrian refugees in this CIH blog and also in this NHF briefing. In Scotland, look at the Scotland Welcomes Refugees website.

If you spot anything else that needs updating, do please let us know - click Feedback to get in touch.

Recent publications

Below are recent publications for housing advisers which will be added to the site on the pages on 'What other organisations can help' or 'Other information for advisers', according to whether they are relevant to England or Scotland, or both.

Resettling refugees - Support after the first year

A guide from the LGA for local authorities, prepared by Migration Yorkshire.

Helping refugees making homelessness applications

The Refugee Council has prepared a guide to help anyone supporting refugees make homelessness applications to local authorities. 

A hosting toolkit

Homeless Link, NACCOM and Houisng Justice have produced a toolkit for those organising hosting schemes for destitute migrants.

Consolidated English and Welsh housing regulations

Unique to the website, the page on the law on housing eligibility contains links to consolidated versions of the English and Welsh regulations on eligibility for housing assistance according to immigration status.

JCWI research on 'right to rent' checks

New research one year after their roll-out across England shows the problems being caused by document checks in the private rented sector.

Web-based tool to help destitute migrants

NRPF have launched a tool for local authorities and advisers, to help find out entitlements for different types of destitute migrant.

Guide for housing staff working with refugee communities in Scotland

The Scottish Refugee Council has (with support from CIH) published A Housing Practitioners' Guide to Integrating Asylum Seekers and Refugees (pdf).

'Right to rent' document checks and English housing associations

CIH has published a What you need to know summarising how 'right to rent' affects housing associations.

Removal of EEA rough sleepers

The Home Office has issued guidance on the process for the administrative removal of a European Economic Area (EEA) national, or a family member of an EEA national.

Welsh code of guidance on allocations and homelessness

The Welsh Government has published a revised Code of Guidance to Local Authorities on the Allocation of Accommodation and Homelessness, 2016

JCWI toolkit on 'right to rent'

JCWI have a toolkit which includes a detailed guide and a flowchart for tenants and for those advising tenants, in the private rented sector.

We welcome suggestions for updating the guidance on the Housing Rights website and for including links to relevant new sources of guidance or information.

Please email with any suggestions, making clear your message refers to this website.


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