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We welcome this report from the Refugee Council which followed 8 new refugees for a year and recommends a change in policy for new refugees to prevent homelessness and destitution – a problem we recognise.

Receiving refugee status can provide certainty and safety, but the period of change between being an asylum seeker and a refugee brings its own challenges. Happiness is quickly followed by bewilderment and isolation when evicted from national asylum seeker support accommodation, before refugees are able to access a biometric residence card, national insurance number, mainstream benefits and housing.

We recommend this report and hope that our supporters will alert their MPs to its findings and recommendations.

These are:
h3. Recommendations

  • Home Office should continue to support refugees until they have full access to other means of
  • support. Specifically their duty as defined by Asylum Support Adjudicators and acknowledged by the
  • Home Office should be written into policy.
  • Refugees seeking access to the privately rented sector should be able to access funding from
  • government to pay for a deposit in recognition of the fact that if they have been on asylum support
  • they will not have any savings.
  • The Home Office should ensure that relevant documentation is received by refugees in a timely
  • manner. Guidance to staff must include instructions to continue asylum support until this has been
  • completed.
  • Government guidance to banks should advise them what documents are issued to refugees and
  • others with leave so that they are encouraged to recognise them as evidence of identity.
  • The Government should re-instate RIES as refugees are in no less need of the support than when the
  • service was first conceived.
  • Service providers need a better understanding of the types of documentation refugees will have in
  • their possession, and adjust their policies accordingly.

The report is attached here.

Attachment Size
28 Days Later: Refugee Council Report May 2014 1.04 MB