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UK refugee housing crisis

For several years, scandals related to the reception conditions of #refugees, displaced people, and #asylumseekers have been pointed out everywhere in the #UK. Scrolling through the English newspapers, portraits of asylum seekers living in chaotic conditions, surrounded by mould, damps, rats, and collapsing walls or ceilings, are legion. The culprits are the #UKHomeOffice. The home office is responsible for #housing people on the move who arrive in the UK. However, the housing situation is a structural problem of privatization, particularly problematic in the English housing market crisis context. As a result, the rules for accessing accommodation for asylum seekers were changed, and the supply of accommodation shifted to the private sector in 2010. These transformations have had significant consequences on the scarce housing conditions of asylum seekers. Indeed, the home office, which promotes providing "safe, comfortable and secure" housing, is no longer solely responsible. "It is the responsibility of our Compass contractors to provide safe, livable and suitable housing," they argue.⁣

From the asylum seeker's point of view, when they arrive in the UK, they are put in accommodation, usually crowded into a shared house on a no-choice basis, often on the outskirts where #accommodation is cheapest. If the person gets refugee status by chance, they can no longer stay in asylum housing: they can choose where they want to live. However, they must pay their rent or apply for government assistance. Once the refugee status is acquired, the cash benefits cease 28 days after the decision, and the person is forced to move without benefiting from "special conditions."⁣

Studies show that housing is a critical element of integration into British society. It is thus crucial to highlight the pressure that the national housing crisis and the evolution of property prices are putting on people on the move. Refugees and asylum seekers already arrive in precarious situations. Therefore, they experience the repercussions of this housing crisis in tenfold ways.⁣

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