When asylum seekers receive their leave to remain in the UK they are often given just 28 days to vacate their Home Office accommodation and find somewhere else to live. They get no preferential treatment regarding the allocation of social housing and have to join housing waiting lists like everybody else. However, the notice period is almost always too short for them to find alternative housing, so they inevitably have to suffer a period of homelessness. Many of them may have only been in the UK for a couple of months and therefore have no friends, little knowledge of the English language and no money to support themselves. Life on the streets is dangerous, especially for women, and makes it impossible for refugees to work and get established in the community.
We provide these new refugees with temporary accommodation to help bridge the gap between Home Office support and a successful application for social housing or time to work towards saving a deposit to go into private rented accommodation. We have roughly 60 bed spaces in Leeds which are made up of single sex shared houses. We aim to encourage more housing providers to work with refugees, and are experienced in working with registered social landlords and private landlords; operating as managing agents, arranging introductions between landlords and refugees.
We support our residents in navigating the British welfare system enabling them to set up successful job seekers allowance and housing benefit claims which they may otherwise of mis-understood. We offer support in understanding how to pay bills and access healthcare and education. We also signpost our residents to a number of services to help them integrate into communities.
If you are an asylum seeker who needs our support or a professional who would like to make a referral please contact our Refugee Project on 0113 8980574 and speak to Neal Heard or Ian Summerskill