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Housing: New Guide on Housing and Migration

July 4, 2012
Housing

The UK housing sector now has access to the first ever practice guide on housing and migration, which provides practical solutions for tackling issues in this complex area.

‘Housing and Migration: A UK guide to issues and solutions’, responds to the fact that one in eight of Britain’s population is foreign born, with the proportion being much higher in certain areas.  The housing sector needs to find ways to deal with an increasing number of people arriving in the country who are in housing need.

The guide, produced by the Housing and Migration Network, is published just as changes resulting from the Localism Act allow councils to set their own rules about who can apply to be on their housing registers. As they must ensure their rules do not discriminate against particular nationalities or ethnic groups this guide is useful in explaining how to remove the barriers which migrants often face in gaining access to decent housing.

Paul Birtill, Director of Metropolitan Migration Foundation, said: “Rapid changes in policy, a highly politicised environment and other priorities have made it extremely difficult for social landlords to ‘keep on top of’ migration and its impact, particularly on neighbourhoods. This guide, however, presents practical solutions and examples which make it easier to address these issues, easing the burden on the sector and providing further support to migrants.”

The guide is based on research carried out by the Housing and Migration Network over the last two years. The Network recognised the need for this resource given the pressure migration puts on the UK housing market, the fact that finding suitable housing is one of the biggest pressures migrants face and that it is at neighbourhood level where the impact of migration is most felt.

The guide provides practical advice on areas such as using existing data sources to build population profiles, developing neighbourhood approaches, supporting migrants to access social housing and checking eligibility.

John Lord, Chief Executive of Bolton at Home said: “The guide shows housing providers that being proactive in knowing their neighbourhoods and staying in touch with and responding to changes in the population can make a big difference. It provides lots of examples of successful initiatives that would not necessarily be costly to implement. ”

“As well as social landlords and councils the guide is also relevant for private landlords, voluntary bodies and migrant support organisations. We hope it will influence people to act and help make a difference.”

The Housing and Migration Network was jointly established by HACT and its funders – the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Metropolitan Migration Foundation.

 

Click here to access RIAMS