More thought needed on dispersal of refugees

The government should establish detailed settlement plans that
recognise the different stages of refugee housing need, a new
report by the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust has
urged, writes Anabel Unity Sale.

The study on housing and community development issues for
refugees in areas of dispersal in Yorkshire and Humberside
highlights the need for more to be done to ensure the smooth
settlement of refugees.

It says the settlement and integration of refugees under the
government’s current dispersal system is “a confusion
of responsibilities, overlapping policies and crowded
initiatives” which fails to meet refugees’ needs.

The report calls for the National Asylum Support Service, the
social housing regulator the Housing Corporation, and Regional
Development Agencies to be involved in drawing up the planning and
delivery of housing along with local authorities.

Areas that refugees are dispersed to should be effectively
prepared and resourced in order to “prevent refugees being
put on the front-line of abuse in deprived areas”, it
recommends, adding that placing refugees in areas of greater racial
diversity would mean that “culturally appropriate
services” were more likely to have already been

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