Access to private housing

Refugee Council's Private Rented Scheme (PRS) in London

Refugee Council runs a Private Rented Scheme (PRS) in London working with newly recognised refugees who have become homeless as a direct result of being granted protection in the UK. 

Those who have been granted refugees status are given 28 days to receive required identity documentation, secure a source of income and find somewhere to live before any current support from the Home Office is terminated. For most this proves impossible and the majority of those without children sadly become homeless. 

About our Private Rented Scheme (PRS)

Securing a private tenancy is the only viable option for hundreds of single refugees deemed as non-priority by their local authority. We help by supporting people to secure and sustain tenancies.

Within the last two years, we have worked with more than 30 landlords and agents.  In 2016 our hard work was recognised by the London Homelessness Awards where we received a prize.

Practical support.

Every person we help will receive an initial assessment to ensure that we can meet their needs. As part of the assessment, individual's will go through one-to-one and group sessions where they will learn about how to effectively manage life in their new homes. We also run weekly drop-in property search sessions where people can get support in searching for affordable accommodation.

Our support does not end once a tenancy is secured. We provide on-going support throughout the life of the tenancy offering advice and guidance on issues relating to training, education and employment.

From April 2015 to March 2016, we created more than 40 tenancies with over 80% lasting beyond their initial 6 month period. 

We offer refugees:

  • Advice and assistance with finding accommodation
  • Help with accessing housing benefit (if required)
  • Help applying for loans or grants to help with rent deposits
  • Advice and support to help you sustain your tenancy
  • Advice on training & employment

For more information on our project, please see our leaflet for refugees.

We offer landlords:

  • Access to prospective tenants who have been vetted and provided with pre-tenancy training on their responsibilities.
  • Professional advice on benefit legislation and information on how to mitigate potential issues or risks.
  • Housing benefit application assistance to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.
  • Help to ensure that tenancies are sustained.
  • Named point of contact throughout the lifetime of the tenancy to ensure everything is hassle-free.
  • A professional service at no cost.

Take a look at our leaflet for London landlords for more information.

If you are a London landlord or have a spare room to rent please call us on 020 7346 1190 or send an email to rent.scheme@refugeecouncil.org.uk and we will take it from there.

We were also recognised as being Champions of working in partnership to assist migrants in the private rented sector by Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people.

Please read here for more information on what it is like to try and start renting privately when you are newly granted refugee in London.