HC Deb 06 December 1995 vol 268 c236W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made of the number of refugees who will be in need of accommodation following the implementation of the social security orders in January; and what provision he has made to provide emergency accommodation for such refugees. [4074]

Mr. Clappison

[holding answer 5 December 1995]: Following implementation of the Social Security (Persons From Abroad) Miscellaneous Regulations 1995, asylum seekers who apply for asylum after entering the United Kingdom, and those whose applications for asylum have been refused, will have no entitlement to social security benefits and will be expected to make their own arrangements for accommodation while they are in this country. Asylum seekers who meet the statutory homelessness criteria will continue to be eligible for assistance under the homelessness legislation.

Under provisions in the Asylum and Immigration Bill, currently before Parliament, the Secretary of State would have the power to specify by order classes of persons requiring leave to enter or 'remain in the United Kingdom who would not be eligible for assistance under the homelessness legislation, and classes of persons who would not be entitled to be allocated council accommodation. We intend to use these powers to align the entitlement to public housing assistance of persons who require leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, including asylum seekers, with their entitlement to social security benefits.

Persons who are granted refugee status, or exceptional leave to remain in the United Kingdom, will continue to be entitled to public housing assistance.