18th June 2019

Housing for Refugees Report

Written by Alicja Zalesinska

Tai Pawb publishes its report into housing for refugees

Tai Pawb published a new report looking at improving the housing situation of refugees living in Wales. The report, commissioned by the Welsh Government and authored by Joy Kent, explores the feasibility of establishing temporary accommodation and support for refugees in Wales, based on models already established by specialist providers in England.

The objective of the proposed accommodation and support is to prevent homelessness by providing refugees with a stable base and assistance specifically designed to help them integrate and achieve their goals. The feasibility study looks specifically at homelessness experienced by refugees during the so-called ‘move-on’period.

Currently if a person is granted refugee status, they have 28 days to move out of their asylum accommodation provided through the Home Office. During this period they need to find housing, get a National Insurance number and apply for benefits or find employment. Administrative delays during this period often result in people becoming destitute. Those refugees and refugee families who are classed as priority need can spend lengthy periods in temporary and often unsuitable or unsafe accommodation. People not deemed to be in priority need are generally unable to access private rented housing, due to the requirement to pay agency fees, one or two month’s rent in advance, the need for a guarantor and lengthy delays in integration loans being processed. (NAfW ELGC Committee Report, I used to be someone, 2017)

The feasibility study includes identifying models developed elsewhere, and considers their potential to be sustainable and contribute positively to the lives and integration of refugees within the Welsh context, specifically considering the issues and barriers identified by Welsh Government and partners and responded to by Welsh Government policy.

The report makes recommendations aimed at ensuring feasibility of any potential refugee housing provision. It also recommends that further work is carried by Tai Pawb working with housing, refugee organisations and other partners to progress the development of the recommended housing solutions.

During and following the publication of the report, Tai Pawb started working with Welsh Government, Joy Kent and a number of housing associations in Wales to take forward the report recommendations. To find out more, contact alicja@taipawb.org.

Refugee Housing and Support Feasibility Study

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