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Other information for advisers

This page is for housing advisers. If you are a new arrival please click here to visit sections more relevant to you.

Below is a listing of books, sites, forums, etc that the authors have found useful in working in these areas.

Textbooks, manuals and guides

The standard textbook on housing and allocations is Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice by Jan Luba and Liz Davies published by Jordans. This is an excellent and very detailed textbook including all legislation, regulations, codes of guidance, etc. The current edition was published in 2018.

The Legal Action Group publish Homelessness and Allocations by Andrew Arden, Justin Bates and Toby Vanhegan (also available as a Welsh edition). This is another excellent book on this subject that includes primary legal sources and is easily accessible. The current edition was published in 2018.  LAG also publishes Defending Possession Proceedings and Quiet Enjoyment, which give detailed guidance on dealing with evictions and harrassment, and Housing Conditions: Tenants' Rights for guidance on tackling disrepair.

CIH and Shelter publish the guide to Help with Housing Costs which includes chapters on immigration status and entitlement for European nationals. The guide is the standard text used by the majority of advisers, is updated annually and is written in an accessible style.

CPAG publish a Benefits for Migrants Handbook described as 'a definitive guide to the social security entitlement conditions for people who have come to or are leaving the UK'. The latest edition is from 2014.

Support for Asylum-seekers and other Migrants by Sue Willman and Stephen Knafler QC published by the Legal Action Group in 2009 is the only handbook focusing exclusively on the welfare and legal rights of asylum seekers. It has now been expanded to cover the welfare needs of other migrants, in particular refused asylum seekers at the end of the process, and EU nationals.

The Equality and Diversity Forum have a detailed briefing on the duties that are required from public authorities in the UK in providing for refugees and migrants, as a result of the Equality Act 2010.

Guidance for housing associations in Scotland on Housing Migrants and Refugees (pdf), published in June 2011, contains very useful sections on interviewing applicants for housing (although practitioners in England and Wales should be aware of the legal differences in Scotland).

Tai Pawb, the organisation that promotes equality and social justice in housing in Wales, has a number of resources relevant to migrants and refugees but you may have to be a member to access them.

Migration Yorkshire produced (in 2014) a set of eleven introductory guides on different topics relating to migration, including a very detailed guide to entitlements, one on housing issues and one on trafficking. They are highly recommended.

JCWI have a toolkit on the 'right to rent' which includes a detailed guide and a flowchart for tenants and for those advising tenants in the private rented sector in England. You can also sign up for notifications from the Home Office of changes to the right to rent.

The Welsh Government has published a guide for tenants suffering mistreatment or discrimination in the private rented sector.

Legislation and case law

All UK legislation can be accessed via the UK legislation website.

Most recent UK and relevant European case law is in the huge BAILII database. European law can also be accessed on the EUR-Lex website.

You can search for most social security commissioners and upper tribunal decisions before 1 January 2016, by their file number, neutral citation or by subject area (e.g. residence and presence) on the old HMCTS decisions database. For social security upper tribunal decisions from the 1 January 2016 search the Administrative Appeals decisions database .

The DWP produce regular updates of the main social security legislation (statute and regulations) which are published on the government’s legislation website. These include: The Universal Credit Regulations; The Housing Benefit Regulations; and The Pension Age Housing Benefit Regulations. The specific regulations that relate to new arrivals are also reproduced on our UK legislation page. The great advantage of all these sources is that they show the consolidated law (i.e. with amendments) – and our UK legislation page is usually updated in the same week that any amendments come into force.

The Free Movement blog provides updates by lawyers on latest developments in immigration law that are written in a very accessible style. You can sign up to receive a weekly email.

Garden Court Chambers have a very useful resource list on their website and also publish a free social welfare newsletter.

The Migrants' Law Project has a set of factsheets on different aspects of immigration law that are kept up-to-date.

The House of Commons Library regularly produces 'Standard Notes' on policy and legal issues. For example it has one on EU migrants' entitlements to social housing in England and a similar one on entitlements of non-EU migrants, both produced in 2014.

Websites

UK Visas and Immigration is run by the Home Office. From their section of the gov.uk website you can follow links to relevant legislation, the current version of the Immigration Rules and the publicly available guidance to immigration officers, as well as advice to those applying to come to or stay in the UK and those wishing to naturalise.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issues circulars and letters to local authorities, including the relevant codes of guidance. They have a home webpage at gov.uk but you will need to use the search facility to find documents.

The Welsh Government website has copies of circulars and letters to local authorities, including the relevant codes of guidance. 

Coram Children’s Legal Centre offers free legal information on topics relating to migrant and refugee children. Its website features a selection of fact sheets and resources on subjects that relate to migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people. They cover such topics as asylum, immigration, EU law, nationality, access to local authority support, education and healthcare, and more. Each legal fact sheet also comes with an introduction to the topic for non-legal professionals.

The Welsh Refugee Council publish legal and policy briefings relating to migrants and refugees in Wales.

Forums

Rightsnet run a forum for those advising on benefits where advisers can post queries and get responses from others in the field.

Regional newsletters

The East of England Local Government Association produce a very useful two-weekly round up of publications, information, events, funding and jobs relating to asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers for anyone in the East of England who wants to keep up to date with the latest developments (but also of use to anyone in England). You can subscribe by emailing louise.gooch@eelga.gov.uk and there is also an archive of recent issues.

Similar briefings are issued by the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership (contact: wmsmp@birmingham.gov.uk) and by the East Midlands SMP (contact: Lois.Dale@emcouncils.gov.uk).

Specific advice on helping refugees

The Local Government Association's website has guidance and news on assisting refugees and asylum seekers. This includes a guide prepared by Migration Yorkshire (pdf) on support for resettled refugees after their first year. The LGA also runs a Knowledge Hub which you can join to get the latest advice or practical information on working with Syrian and other refugees who are resettled in the UK.

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

Advice and support in dealing with destitute migrants

The Strategic Alliance on Migrant Destitution's website has links to a range of resources. The project has ended but it published a very useful Migrant Destitution Toolkit.

The NRPF Network is a network of local authorities and partner organisations focusing on the statutory response to migrants with care needs who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). They publish a range of practical guidance to help local authorities assess eligibility for services. They have a web-based tool to help local authorities and others check the entitlements of destitute migrants.

LASA has a website in which you enter a postcode to find the local social services department and other relevant advice services, shown on a local map.

Praxis offers advice to those advising or helping destitute and irregular migrants.

Asylum Support Appeals Project is a small national charity which aims to reduce destitution amongst asylum seekers by protecting their legal rights to food and shelter. It offers an advice line, factsheets and training.

Project 17 offers advice about applying to social services for accommodation and support for families with children.

Street Legal is providing legal advice to destitute migrants in London.

NELMA (North East London Migrant Action) has resources on its website including a 'bust card' and information sheet to assist rough sleeping EEA nationals.

NACCOM has a guide to organising hosting schemes for destitute migrants in the resources section of its website. It also has a toolkit for those organising hosting schemes for destitute migrants (produced with Homeless Link and Housing Justice).

The Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that aims to promote respect for the human rights of undocumented migrants within Europe. The website includes a great deal of information, resources and news of interest.

Chartered Institute of Housing
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Background Topics

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

Chartered Institute of Housing