Asylum seekers and refugees

All non-UK Nationals are required to provide documentation to show they have a right to live in the UK.

Asylum seekers and refugees applying for a home

Non-UK Nationals looking for permanent rehousing from Wheatley Homes East or other social landlords in Wheatley Group, apply for a home in the same way as other customers.

They will be offered Housing Options advice that looks at their needs and the needs of family members. When identified, support can be put in place to help customers keep their tenancy and become a part of our communities.

A support service provided by our sister company, Wheatley Care, provides support to homeless customers, including refugees.

We have a number of forums, including Polish and West African housing forums, which offer customers advice and support with tenancy issues affecting their ethnic group. Our migrant support advisor can help re-house new refugees.

We work with a number of different teams in Wheatley Group and are happy to work with any organisations working with or for Non-UK nationals.

Who is an asylum seeker? 

An asylum seeker is someone who has lodged an application for international protection under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and is awaiting a decision from the UK Government.

On arriving in the UK, most asylum seekers are entitled to housing while their asylum claim is processed. This type of housing is separate from mainstream social housing and is provided by the Home Office under the COMPASS contract.

We will accept waiting list applications from those seeking asylum, but the application is suspended until their refugee status is confirmed.

Who is a refugee?

A refugee is “any person who owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country,” according to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Refugee status is awarded to a person who the Home Office recognises as a refugee as defined by The 1951 UN Refugee Convention. In short, a refugee has the same housing rights as a UK national.

Once an asylum seeker has refugee status, local authorities have the statutory responsibility for rehousing refugees. Our role is to assist the local authority.

We are committed to offering protection and welcome for refugees through access to housing, both with temporary and permanent resettlement accommodation.

If a refugee accepts a tenancy with us, it would run like any other mainstream tenancy.

If the tenant is working, they will pay the rent. If they are looking for work, their rent will be paid via Housing Benefit.

The same rules relating to the housing part of Universal Credit also applies to refugees with leave to remain.

EEA migrants and Third Country Nationals

Migrants have differing rights to social housing according to their immigration status. While we welcome applications from those looking to live, work or study in the UK, we must make sure the applicant is not subject to immigration control and has an entitlement to a Scottish Secure Tenancy.

Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme

The Scottish Government is committed to welcoming 2000 Syrian nationals through the Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme. Scotland has already welcomed a number of refugees from Syria through the VPR scheme.

We helped local authorities to access temporary and permanent homes for this customer group.

The VPR scheme is operated through the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme which identifies particularly vulnerable individuals and families for relocation to the UK.

Translation services 

If English is not your first language we can help you through our interpreting service. Please contact us on 0800 561 0088.

Who do we work with to support refugees?

We work closely with The Scottish Refugee Council and support its Holistic Integration Service.

Migrant Help service

If you are an asylum seeker and live in Scotland, please continue calling Migrant Help service on 0808 8010 503.