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Housing advisers

Other information for advisers

This page is for housing advisers. If you are a new arrival please click here to visit sections more relevant to you.

Below is a listing of books, sites, forums, etc that the authors have found useful in working in these areas.

Textbooks, manuals and guides

The standard textbook on housing and allocations is Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice by Jan Luba and Liz Davies published by Jordans. This is an excellent and very detailed textbook including all legislation, regulations, codes of guidance, etc. A new edition is planned for 2012: the current one is now quite out-of-date.

The Legal Action Group publish Homelessness and Allocations by Andrew Arden, Emily Orme and Toby Vanhegan. This is another excellent book on this subject that includes primary legal sources and is easily accessible. Again, this edition is now out-of-date.

CIH and Shelter publish the Guide to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit 2012-13 which includes chapters on immigration status and entitlement for European nationals. The guide is the standard text used by the majority of advisers and is written in an accessible style.

Support for Asylum-seekers and other Migrants by Sue Willman and Stephen Knafler QC published by the Legal Action Group is the only handbook focusing exclusively on the welfare and legal rights of asylum seekers. It has now been expanded to cover the welfare needs of other migrants, in particular refused asylum seekers at the end of the process, and EU nationals.

The Equality and Diversity Forum have a detailed briefing (pdf) on the duties that are required from public authorities in the UK in providing for refugees and migrants, as a result of the Equality Act 2010.

Housing and Support Services for Asylum Seekers and Refugees - A Good Practice Guide by John Perry, published by CIH for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Note that the information about benefit and housing entitlements in this excellent guide is now out of date.

Guidance for housing associations in Scotland on Housing Migrants and Refugees, published in June 2011, contains very useful sections on interviewing applicants for housing (although practitioners in England and Wales should be aware of the legal differences in Scotland).

Tai Pawb, the organisation that promotes equality and social justice in housing in Wales, has produced a good practice guide (pdf) on communicating housing information to refugees and asylum seekers.

Opening Doors was a Housing Corporation and CLG funded project involving selected housing associations addressing the needs of refugees and other new migrants. It produced training modules and other downloadable material.

Praxis publish an online Manual for People Advising Undocumented Migrants (last updated in 2011). An invaluable resource for all those who come across undocumented migrants in their work, the manual is a complete guide for non-lawyers on advising this category of clients.

The East Sussex migrant communities project has a web resource for working with migrant communities about their housing conditions, particularly in the private rented sector. This includes a good practice guide for housing service providers and groups working with migrants, and English language teaching resources which focus on migrants' housing conditions, where to get advice and what their housing rights are.

The National Assembly for Wales Equality of Opportunity Committee have produced a report (pdf) on issues affecting migrant workers in Wales, their families and the communities in which they live and work.

Legislation and case law

All UK legislation can be accessed via the UK legislation website.

Most recent UK and relevant European case law is in the huge BAILII database. European law can also be accessed on the EUR-Lex website.

You can search for most upper tribunal decisions, by their file number, neutral citation or by subject area (e.g. residence and presence) on the Upper Tribunal decisions database.

Social security legislation (statute and regulations) can also be accessed on the DWP’s Law Relating to Social Security web page. The great advantage of this work is that it shows the consolidated law (i.e. with amendments).

Garden Court Chambers have a very useful resource list on their website and also publish free weekly e-newsletters which update on housing, immigration and community care law and cases.


The UK Border Agency is run by the Home Office. From their website you can follow links to relevant legislation, the current version of the Immigration Rules and the publicly available guidance to immigration officers, as well as advice to those applying to come to or stay in the UK and those wishing to naturalise.

The website of the Department for Communities and Local Government contains copies of circulars and letters to local authorities, including the relevant codes of guidance.

The Welsh Government website has copies of circulars and letters to local authorities, including the relevant codes of guidance.  The Welsh Local Government Association website has useful information about migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees.


Shelter run forums for housing professionals (including advisers) on their website where advisers can post queries and get responses from others in the field. They often include quite detailed discussions about eligibility, etc.

Rightsnet run a similar forum for those advising on benefits.

The Welsh Housing Notice Board can keep you up-to-date with the latest housing debate and good practice, including an opportunity to exchange thoughts, ideas and experiences with other housing people in its Forum.


The East of England Local Government Association produce a very useful weekly round up of publications, information, events, funding and jobs relating to asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers for anyone in the East of England who wants to keep up to date with the latest developments (but also of use to anyone in England). An online archive is available or you can subscribe by emailing

Migrants Rights Network also do a weekly newsletter which aims to inform members and other groups working on migration issues related to regional and national policy developments, campaign news, recent research and upcoming events.

The Welsh Refugee Council’s mailing list aims to keep people up-to-date with significant changes in asylum policy.

Chartered Institute of Housing

Background Topics

How can we improve housing for new migrants in the UK?

CIH Training for Housing Advisers

Chartered Institute of Housing  HACT - The housing action charity