Research details

Between NASS and a hard place

Author[s] Carter, Mary and El Hassan, A. Azim

Date 2003



To gauge broad levels of housing need among newly settled refugees; to identify sources of access to housing and related support services; and to identify the level of relevant community development initiatives.


The fieldwork, carried out between July and October 2002, involved collecting secondary information, interviews with various agencies, 44 interviews with refugees and asylum seekers, field notes from community research workers and focus groups discussions of the findings with 22 refugees and asylum seekers.

Key issues

The report discusses issues relating to housing, in particular for those leaving NASS support. The policy context of dispersal, the asylum application process and community support are outlined. Findings are presented on tensions and problems related to dispersal; public and private housing arrangements including an overview of statutory, voluntary and private sector roles; and issues surrounding the 28 day notice period for refugees leaving NASS support, integration and settlement are discussed alongside the role of refugee community organisations [RCOs].


A confusion of responsibilities, overlapping polices and crowded initiatives are yet to integrate the needs of refugees in planning and delivery mechanisms for mainstream services. There were also positive initiatives to promote settlement and integration.


A bolder commitment at national, regional and local levels is required to ensure the needs and aspirations of new communities, particularly regarding ‘joined up’ thinking; advice, information and training; safety and racial harassment; planning settlement and promotion of the role of RCOs.

Further details

Resource type
Published by
Housing Association Charitable Trust, London

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