Report Launch: Housing In A Hostile Environment

Migrants Organise has contributed to a new report from Generation Rent, Housing In A Hostile Environment, which exposes a racist housing market.

The findings, from a survey conducted with 126 migrant private renters, highlights the obstacles and experiences facing people on the sharp end of racist hostile environment policies in accessing housing. 

  • 42% reported that they had struggled to find a landlord or letting agent to rent to them as a migrant.
  • 74% of migrant private renters had struggled to find somewhere affordable to rent.
  • 30% had been threatened with an eviction.
  • 57% reported that they had experienced mould or damp.
  • Of those that had reported their most recent incident of disrepair to their landlord or letting agent, 51% stated that their landlord had not fixed the repair issue.

Migrants Organise members contributed to this report by sharing their experiences of living in temporary and private rented accommodation where many are consistently forced to live in undignified conditions. 

Peter*, recalled: “[The] landlord tried repeatedly to illegally evict with violence to force entry, once with the help of the police who smashed the door in and demanded to see ID in the hopes it would lead to an eviction without court.”

Everyone deserves the right to live in safe and dignified housing, but this government’s hostile immigration system continues to put people at risk of exploitation even in their own homes. 

Members that contributed to the research often stated that poor treatment and a lack of rights whilst living in temporary accommodation acted as significant barriers in accessing safe and secure housing in the Private Rented Sector.

Emiliano*, said: “Instead of being happy when you get granted [settled status], you may then just find yourself in trouble. Because they stopped giving you whatever they used to give before… And then, how are you supposed to start fresh? Because if you’re going to rent, you have to pay [a] deposit, you have to pay [the] first month of rent, or probably like three months in advance, because they want to make sure that you can afford that without no work experience. With no income, with no bank account, because you’re not allowed to have a bank account. How are you going to handle that?”

Migrants Organise Housing Action Group are organising for a world without border controls in housing. People should be able to live in safe, decent homes in their communities and this requires a universal housing standard for all. 

Ben Twomey, Chief Executive of Generation Rent, said: “Migrant renters are subjected to an exhausting, unsafe and heartless system, where they are disproportionately forced to bear the brunt of the worst of the housing sector.

“The upcoming Renters (Reform) Bill must work to support all renters into safe and secure housing, including marginalised groups such as migrant communities. Only by listening to migrant renters and understanding their experience, will the government be able to get serious about ending housing discrimination in the UK.”

By making the PRS and temporary accommodation fair for the most marginalised and

discriminated groups in the UK, we make them fair for everyone.

You can read the full report here

*all names have been changed.