Refugees: Homelessness

Home Office written question – answered on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the research by the No Accommodation Network in its report Mind the Gap: Homelessness Amongst Newly Recognised Refugees, published on 26 May, that the 28 days move on period leaves many newly recognised refugees homeless.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

Asylum seekers who are recognised as refugees are eligible to apply for mainstream benefits and obtain assistance from their local authority with housing. A Biometric Residence Permit is provided to enable them to prove their entitlement to these benefits.

As the report by the No Accommodation Network records, a number of changes have already been implemented, to help refugees obtain the assistance they need. These include the inclusion of a national insurance number with the Biometric Residence Permit and the establishment of the “Post Grant Appointment Service”, which provides advice and assistance and arranges an appointment for the person at their local job centre.

Additionally, a number of “Asylum Support Liaison Officers” are being established across the country, with responsibility to help refugees access suitable accommodation.

The report shows that, for a number of reasons, some people still experience delays in obtaining suitable housing and other benefits before the support they have been receiving from the Home Office comes to an end 28 days after they are granted refugee status. The report does not show that these problems will be resolved by extending the 28 days period.

Home Office officials are discussing the reasons for the delays with the authors of the report and considering the findings and recommendations.

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