Magazine article Public Finance

CIH Urges RSLs to Do More for Refugees

Magazine article Public Finance

CIH Urges RSLs to Do More for Refugees

Article excerpt

Social landlords are being urged to play a greater role in housing asylum seekers and refugees, despite doubts about the future of contracts issued by the National Asylum Support Service.

All but five out of 19 Nass contracts will expire before November. Two private landlords have already had their contracts terminated following a fall in demand for accommodation and Southampton City Council's contract was not renewed last summer.

Housing minister Lord Rooker admitted last month that Nass had 7,500 empty bed spaces across the UK following a 20% fall in the number of asylum seekers housed in 2004.

But a project launched on January 3 by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is encouraging councils and registered social landlords that have not previously worked with asylum seekers and refugees to become more involved.

Sam Lister, a CIH policy officer, said thousands of asylum seekers do not register with Nass but might still be seeking accommodation or support services, along with those granted refugee status. …

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