Housing guide for refugees launched

Housing staff working with refugees who need a permanent home in Scotland are being given a helping hand today [Tuesday, 22 March] as Scottish Refugee Council releases a new guide.

‘The Practitioners’ Guide to Housing Refugees’ has been produced with support from the Scottish Government, and aims to help housing professionals working for local authorities and Registered Social Landlords to learn more about the challenges refugees face when it comes to housing.

It emphasises the important contribution refugees make to Scottish communities, and provides a quick and easy resource for housing workers to get to grips with the complex legislation affecting refugees and asylum seekers.

The Guide, which is available to download free of charge from the Scottish Refugee Council website from March 22, includes a preface from Scotland’s Minister for Housing and Communities, Alex Neil.

In his introduction, Neil says: “Scotland has a long history of welcoming asylum seekers and refugees from day one of their arrival.

“This Guide has been funded by the Scottish Government with the aim of assisting housing professionals working for local authorities and Registered Social Landlords to ensure they are fully appraised of not only the rights of refugees, but the important contribution refugees can make to strengthen communities. I am sure that this guide will help them to do that.”

Elodie Mignard, Housing Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council, said: “There are many difficulties refugees face when it comes to housing, such as high levels of homelessness, poverty, isolation and lack of knowledge of their rights in the housing system. This is on top of the trauma they have been through in fleeing danger and persecution in their home countries.

“While the current economic climate means times are tough for vulnerable people, we feel the release of this guide is a really positive step for ensuring the housing needs of refugees and their families are better met in Scotland – and we are delighted that this has been backed by Alex Neil.”

For more information contact Karin Goodwin or Clare Harris on 0141 223 7927, 07734 030763 or 07850 930418.

‘The Practitioners’ Guide to Housing Refugees’ is available to download from the Scottish Refugee Council website at:  www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk or by contacting Elodie Mignard on 0141 248 9799.

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Notes to Editors:

The Practitioners Guide to Housing Refugees was produced for housing professionals, frontline and management staff working with Local Authorities RSLs and voluntary organisations in Scotland.

The guide compiles essential information about housing and homelessness rights and entitlements of refugees as well as practical recommendations and example of positive practice that could lead to reduction of homelessness and improve tenancy sustainment amongst refugees. 

Organisations including the SFHA, the Scottish Housing Regulator, the Scottish Government Homeless Team and Child Poverty Action Group were consulted in developing the guide.

Scottish Refugee Council provides help and advice to those who have fled human rights abuses or other persecution in their homeland and now seek refuge in Scotland.

We are a membership organisation that works independently and in partnership with others to provide support to refugees from arrival to settlement and integration into Scottish society. We campaign to ensure that the UK Government meets its international, legal and humanitarian obligations and to raise awareness of refugee issues.

For more information see www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk