Skip to main content

Housing: Immigration

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL519, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the impact of their policy towards immigration from Hong Kong has been incorporated into housing allocation (1) calculations, and (2) provision.

Answered on

8 June 2021

The Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) visa route is a positive offer for British National (Overseas) status holders and their dependants. To be eligible for the Hong Kong BN(O) visa route, status holders must prove that they are able to sustain themselves and their families in the UK for six months.

Those on the BN(O) visa route will have a ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition attached to their leave, which prevents them from accessing local authority-allocated social housing allocations and homelessness assistance.

After 5 years, Hong Kong BN(O) status holders will be able to apply for settled status, and if granted settled status will then be eligible for both social housing and homelessness assistance on the same basis as British citizens. We will keep the position in relation to social housing allocations under review.

We recognise that local authorities may be expected to provide some form of housing support, for example, in managing tenancies, assessing any eligibility for local deposit schemes and understanding rights and entitlements to housing and welfare support, where it is appropriate. That is why the Government is making over £30 million available to local authorities in England to provide targeted support to Hong Kong British National (Overseas) status holders who need additional English for Speakers of Other Languages and/or destitution support including support with housing costs. This targeted support funding factors in the potential impacts on homelessness, housing and translation services demands.