Housing is of particular significance if integration begins in the community you share with neighbours. Many of the refugees will have little experience of a "housing market" as we know it. Refugees may need guidance to understand their rights and responsibilities. They may alo have no experience of landlords or social housing.

  • Early health and safety issues include: locking first floor windows for child safety, locking doors when leaving the house, knowing how to access emergency services.
  • It is appropriate to check that arrivals understand how we live, for example; showers over the bath, use of WC's, cooking on the hob/oven not on the floor.
  • Although arrivals will almost certainly have had neighbour relations before it’s a good idea to tell them about things that are particularly important to Brits, for example; keeping your garden tidy, putting rubbish out for collection on the correct day.
  • New tenants need to understand the landlord's responsibility in relation to repairs and maintenance and the limitations as to the changes they can make to the building. They may benefit from guidance as to how to make effective relations with their landlord.
  • Some arrivals will have no experience of paying rent, fuel bills, and local taxes such as council tax. They need to understand the role of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction, and the long term consequences of non – payment of housing and other liabilities such as TV licences.
  • Work with neighbours and the local community to afford a welcome will depend on local circumstances. Co-ordination between actors and an appropriately resourced lead are pre-requisites.


This guide identifies innovative and creative approaches to housing refugees, providing strategic and operational insight. A place to live, a place to stay: A good practice guide for housing in refugee resettlement. Share, 2014

This substantial guide covers issues related to housing and integration. Some of the advice will no longer be appropriate because of changes to the law and some service provision but it remains a useful tool for practitioners working in the field. Housing and support services for asylum seekers and refugees: a good practice guideJRF and Chartered Institute of Housing, 2005.

Insights into the Sunrise refugee housing experience. HACT, 2008.


Rachel Tew, Spring Housing Association