Guidance

Access to social housing and homelessness assistance for EEA and Swiss citizens in England

This guidance explains the rights of European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens to access social housing and homelessness assistance in England after the UK has left the EU.

EEA and Swiss citizens living in England by 31 December 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on accessing social housing, including supported housing, and homelessness assistance in England, as a result of the UK leaving the EU. This means EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be eligible to access these housing services on the same terms as now.

EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 to continue living in the UK after the Transition Period and be eligible to access housing services.

The Amendment Regulations (Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/861)) were laid on 16 April and came into force on 7 May 2019. These regulations set out the position on access to housing services for those granted pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

A letter was sent to all chief executives of local authorities, chief housing officers and chief officers for children’s services in England informing of this change in legislation.

Letter to local authorities: eligibility for an allocation of social housing under part 6 and homelessness assistance under part 7 of The Housing Act 1996

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Moving to the UK from 1 January 2021

If you arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 you will be able to apply for an immigration status under the future immigration system. The rules on accessing social housing and homelessness assistance in England will change.

Irish citizens living in England

You, and members of your family living in England, will continue to access social housing, including supported housing, and homelessness assistance as now, after the UK leaves the EU.

Published 20 March 2019
Last updated 12 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. Change to reflect the no deal immigration arrangements for EU citizens arriving after Brexit.

  2. Added email alert sign up link.

  3. Change to reflect amendment to legislation

  4. First published.