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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

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    Housing rights information

    England, Wales and Scotland

    The Housing Rights website aims to provide accurate information to recent arrivals and to advisers about eligibility for housing, based on people's immigration status.

    Do you interview or advise housing applicants, make allocations, assist homeless households or deal with housing benefit? If you do any of these, you need accurate information on the eligibility for housing help of migrants, refugees and other new arrivals.

    Find the answers on the Housing rights information website

    This specialist CIH website has up-to-date information on the legal entitlements for all types of migrant – whether they apply as homeless, want accommodation through the waiting list or letting scheme, or apply for housing benefit. It has a set of pages for England and Wales, and a separate set on Scotland. It gives links to detailed guidance for Northern Ireland, too.

    The guidance covers the full details of eligibility for help with housing for people with different kinds of immigration status, for example:

    • People from all parts of Europe (such as the ‘A8’ countries that joined the EU in 2004, and Bulgaria and Romania who joined in 2007).
    • People from elsewhere in the world.
    • People who are employed, self-employed or jobseeking.
    • Family members, divorced or separated spouses, children, students and special cases such as people with care needs or suffering domestic violence.
    • Refugees and their family members who have entered the UK through different schemes.

    The site is split into two sections: one for new arrivals themselves, and a section with more detailed guidance for practitioners and those giving advice. This part of the site has links to more specialist sources for advisers, too.

    There are general explanations for new arrivals of how the English, Welsh and Scottish housing systems work and the differences between local authorities and housing associations.

    There is detailed guidance for practitioners on:

    • the law and associated guidance on lettings, homelessness and housing benefit
    • the eligibility of different types of migrant
    • acceptable proofs of immigration status
    • issues such as the 'habitual residence test'
    • how to avoid discrimination against new arrivals

     The site is updated as the law changes or as new sources of guidance become available. Make sure this valuable resource is available to all your staff who need to know about housing entitlements.

    For further information or to comment on the site, contact John Perry

    The site was originally developed by CIH and HACT, the housing action charity, and the current version has been supported by the Building and Social Housing Foundation.



    Housing rights information - England & Wales

    The Housing rights website provides advice and help for migrants and advisers in England & Wales, if you are in Scotland visit the Scottish Housing rights webpage.

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