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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.

New legislation and code of guidance on homelessness in England

A new code of guidance took effect in April, to take account of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 which came into force on April 3. Changes have been made to all the relevant English pages dealing with homelessness to reflect the new law and guidance. Broadly speaking, there is now a duty to advise and give information to a wide range of homeless people in England, as was already the case in Wales. Please get in touch if you spot any changes needed to guidance as interpretation of the new legislation is a work in progress.

Inspection report published on 'Right to Rent'

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, has published his inspection report on the ‘Right to Rent’ scheme. It is very critical of some aspects of the scheme, citing the views of the Chartered Institute of Housing and others. The government has replied, accepting some of the criticisms.

Restrictions on Croatian workers to expire in June

The restrictions that apply could be extended when they expire in June, but the government has decided not to do so.

Children and Social Work Act 2017 and migrant children

The legislation came into force on 1 April 2018 and NRPF Network has published guidance on it.

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. Letting agents also now have to abide by a new Code of Practice.

'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.

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.


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.

DWP benefits guidance for refugees

This guide explains benefit availability for refugees with different kinds of leave to remain.

Right to Remain Toolkit

The Right to Remain Toolkit is a guide to the UK immigration and asylum system with excellent, plain English explanations of how immigration law works, mainly aimed at people who want to establish or fight for their right to remain in the UK

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.

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).


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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Chartered Institute of Housing