We are calling for people to be given at least 56-days to find new housing after receiving their refugee status.

At the moment, people have just 28-days to leave their accommodation after getting a decision.

Finally receiving a decision should be a time for celebration – but it quickly turns into a frantic search for a home and employment.

While they await their decision, people claiming asylum are not allowed to work. They are unlikely to have a bank account or any savings. Expecting people who have been in this position for months, if not years, to find a new home so quickly is setting them up to fail.

If that’s not enough, there is also a 35-day delay between applying for Universal Credit and receiving the first payment, making the system completely incompatible with a 28-day move-on period.

The government’s own Homelessness Reduction Act stated that at least 56 days are usually needed to find accommodation. 

A British Red Cross report showed that the 28-day move-on period often leaves people at risk of homelessness and in extreme poverty.

A further report demonstrated how extending to 56-days could result in net annual benefits of up to £7 million to the UK.

Extending the move-on period would benefit local communities and regional, local and national governments. And crucially, it would give people the time they need to begin to rebuild their lives in here in safety.

Find out more about the support we can offer refugees in Scotland.

If you are concerned about accommodation or any other issue relating to your asylum claim, please call our free helpline for info and advice: 0808 196 7274

Gilly Furmage
Author: Gilly Furmage