We’re really concerned about the huge numbers of people at risk of homeless in Glasgow this winter.

More and more families and individuals are reaching out to us for help because they have been made homeless after receiving their refugee status. In this Q&A, we list some of the reasons for this crisis and what we’re doing about it.

What’s happening? 

A large number of people seeking refugee protection are at risk of homelessness this winter. 

1,400 people are expected to need help with housing in Glasgow before Christmas. 

Why are we worried? 

We have seen an increase in families and individuals reaching out for help because they have been made homeless after receiving their refugee status. We know of cases where families have had to resort to sleeping in police stations as they have nowhere else to go.

Amidst the cost-of-living and housing crises, it would be difficult for anyone in Scotland to find new housing in a week. For someone who has just received their refugee status, it is impossible. 

People are not allowed to work while their asylum claim is processed. As a result, people who have just been granted their status are unlikely to have any savings for a deposit or rent.

There is a 35-day delay between applying for Universal Credit and receiving the first payment. 

The UK government’s own Homelessness Reduction Unit says that at least 56 days are usually needed to find accommodation. 

There is a shortage of available, affordable housing.

 As we head into winter, we are deeply concerned for the welfare of refugees who will receive their status over the next few weeks and months. 

Why has it happened? 

The Home Office is speeding up its attempts to clear the asylum system ‘backlog.’ 

As part of this, it has sped up the decision-making process for people from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria and Yemen. 

Unfortunately, due to recent protocol changes from the Home Office, people are being given just 7 days, or sometimes less, to find new accommodation once they have been granted their refugee status. 

What are we asking the UK and Scottish governments to do?   

We are urging the Scottish Government to provide the funding needed for councils to support and house people seeking sanctuary.  

We are asking the UK government to immediately reverse the changes so all refugees have a minimum of 28 days before they’re required to leave their accommodation.  

Read more on our asks to UK government here.  

What should you do if you’ve just been granted refugee status and are concerned or need support?

If you are concerned or are looking for support, you can call our free and confidential helpline on 0808 1967 274 or use the ‘contact us’ section on our website.  

Read more about our response to recent Home Office changes.

Gilly Furmage
Author: Gilly Furmage