Eligibility Introduction

During the past 20 years or so the government has tightened up the restrictions on entitlement to accommodation and support for people from abroad. These restrictions have been introduced gradually and have often been followed by which lead to the initial legislation being changed. This has led to a complex web of legislation and case law.

These provisions do not just effect people from abroad British citizens may fall foul of the Habitual Residence Test so it is not just people from abroad who are effected.

It is very easy with the rules on immigration status and eligibility to get very confused very quickly. To overcome this is it is necessary to keep the issues simple and the threads untangled. The purpose of this Guide is identify and define those issues and to set out the steps which need to be followed to advise and assist someone who is facing exclusion from housing or support due to their immigration status

The best way to do this is to start off with the assumption that anyone who is not a British citizen and who has not been living here for a number of years may be treated as ineligible for assistance.

It is important to remember that council staff are likely to be just as confused as anyone else and so their decisions may well be open to challenge once they are looked at more closely.

I am sure that readers who are familiar with this complicated subject will spot errors. I would very much appreciate it if these could be pointed out by people commenting. I will then try and correct the errors.

For more detailed information about this subject you should visit the Chartered Institute of Housing site Housing Rights Information read Sue Willman and Stephen Knafler's book Support for Asylum Seekers and Other Migrants

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