23 May 2016

A new report has been published by ECRE member the British Refugee Council on the risks of homelessness and destitution faced by refugees who are granted asylum in the United Kingdom. The Refugee Council’s research has namely found that:

“When their asylum claim is granted, refugees are given just 4 weeks to secure an income and somewhere to live before the Government evicts them from their asylum accommodation. Newly granted refugees can apply for a one-off loan to help with integration, but Government admits it has ‘no target’ for processing these loans – though it ‘aspires’ to do so in 6 weeks – 2 weeks longer than refugees have before eviction. This results in many refugees becoming homeless and destitute. 81 of 100 of the new refugees surveyed by the Refugee Council were homeless or about to be when they came to us. Newly recognised refugees are being forced to rely on food banks, charities or friends for access to food, money and accommodation. We estimate that these problems could have affected 9,768 refugees last year alone.”

These problems contrast with the treatment of resettled refugees, who benefit from accommodation secured prior to their arrival and receive specialist support for integration. For refugees who are granted asylum, there is no UK Government funded integration service. The national programme that used to operate to support these refugees through their transition was abolished by in 2011.

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This article first appeared in the Asylum Information Database (AIDA) website on 20 May 2016.