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Added 23 March 2022

For the latest updates and guidelines on supporting people with uncertain or restricted eligibility, please also check our news pages.

People with restricted eligibility are at high risk of homelessness and destitution because they cannot access mainstream housing and welfare benefits. Providing support to this group can help prevent homelessness and destitution and improve their well-being and health.

The guidance document on this page explains what restricted eligibility means and the role of the Home Office and local authorities (LAs) in relation to this. It also addresses some of the main concerns that services might have about working with individuals with restricted eligibility and summarises the support that non-specialist services can provide to help meet the housing, care and immigration advice needs of this group. Details of specialist organisations (national) can be found in the final section.

Included in this guidance are a collection of case studies from five different areas in England who have developed responses to supporting non-UK nationals who are homeless.

Alongside this guidance document, is a 1-page briefing, outlining the lesser-known powers that councils can use to accommodate people with uncertain or restricted eligibility. It is intended to give a brief overview of the law, so that frontline staff have baseline knowledge to advocate for individuals.

Who are these resources for?

These resources are for individuals working in homelessness services in England who are supporting people with uncertain or restricted eligibility due to their immigration status. The case studies within the guidance have been collected for a local authority audience, to help them think about responses they could take to supporting non-UK nationals who are homeless.