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Renting for Migrants

As migration is certainly one of the pressures on the housing market, so housing is definitely one of the pressures on migrants.

Migration is a reality and any economy needs some skills that only migrants bring.

New migrants often enter the market via the least desirable housing and in disadvantaged areas.

Migrants are often unaware of their rights or may not use advice services. Landlords often assume they are not eligible for housing or create other barriers like being unaware of migrants eligibility for housing. Because the issues are complicated, it can seem easier to say no. More new migrants have been seeking housing in or around rural areas, where employment in agriculture, tourism and related industries has been available to them.

Highly politicised and negative debates about migration can result in whole groups of people, such as asylum seekers and migrants from EU accession states, experiencing discrimination. These debates are often not based on evidence – there is a lack of basic information about new migrants, their numbers, their housing and economic circumstances, their status and their rights.

The Housing and Migration Network was jointly established by HACT – the Housing Action Charity – and its funders, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Migration Foundation of Metropolitan Housing Partnership with aims to improve the housing circumstances of new migrants who are experiencing disadvantage and poor housing, whether as refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers or when joining family members already resident in the country. They also aim to bring about change in the places where recent migrants live, in solidarity with other longer-term residents.

The Network has been driven by a diverse group of 20 policy influencers and practitioners from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Over the last two years the group has been exploring practical solutions to the reality of continuing migration, which places pressures on housing and neighbourhood cohesion.

The Housing and Migration Network is keen to promote ideas that work ‘with the grain’ of the sector, involve voluntary and community organisations and migrant groups themselves wherever possible, and which are aimed at addressing the issues that arise at local level.

Hopefully, by adopting this strategic process to migrant accommodation the opportunities and the quality of rental properties made available to migrants into the country will improve.