NHF joins call to extend the move-on period for newly granted refugees

19 March 2024

Once people seeking asylum have had their refugee status granted, they have 28 days to move on from government-funded accommodation.

At the NHF, we’ve signed a joint letter with St Mungo’s and key housing, homelessness and refugee organisations to ask the government to extend this to 56 days, to prevent people becoming homeless after receiving their refugee status.  

We’re asking the government to extend the move-on period for newly granted refugees to 56 days, to provide time for local authorities to find them safe, secure homes.  

This includes homes provided by NHF members, who house refugees through both general needs properties and schemes specifically designed to support people with refugee status settle into the community.  

How does the 28 day move on period work? 

Once a person has received a positive decision on their asylum claim and have been issued a biometric residency permit, they have 28 days to find a place to live, through local authority referrals, or through the private rented system. 

Navigating a complicated housing system and finding a safe, secure home within 28 day period is very difficult, and newly granted refugees face additional cultural and language barriers, as well as significant barriers to the private-rented sector.  

This puts people affected at a higher risk of homelessness and rough sleeping. Government statistics show that rough sleeping among people who’ve left asylum accommodation in the last 85 days was up by 111% from September to December 2023. 

What changes are we calling for? 

In 2023, the Kerslake Commission recommended that the 28 day period be extended to 56 days, to align with the prevention timescales outlined in the 2018 Homelessness Reduction Act

A significant number of single people with refugee status are not classed as ‘priority need’ and are not eligible for local authority temporary accommodation. Our members are well placed to prevent refugee homelessness through specialist supported housing and other types of suitable accommodation. 

We think extending the move-on period to 56 days will provide more time for referrals to housing schemes through local authority homeless pathways and will reduce rough sleeping.