Target launches EU migrant housing advice service in Hull

Target Housing has been awarded £403,000 by the Big Lottery to develop a housing mediation and advice service for EU migrants in Hull.

Target, a registered charity which provides social housing and support to vulnerable people, will work with the statutory and voluntary sectors  to ensure that properties occupied by EU migrants are safe and comply with current legislation. It will also help to improve migrants’ understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities as tenants.

Thirty EU migrants will be trained as advocates, supporting the wider community to engage with service providers including schools, GPs, dentists and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The three-year project is funded by the lottery’s Reaching Communities programme and aims to reach 100 people a year. Four new jobs will be created in Hull to complement the 13 Target staff currently based in the city. Target also has offices in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Derby.

Shaun Needham, Target Housing CEO, said: ‘The service will work with both migrant communities and local landlords to ensure a fair deal for both parties. We will assist migrants to ensure they have the correct and legal tenancy paperwork and that their houses are fit and proper. We will also help them understand their responsibilities to be good tenants.

‘The overall aim of the project is to help with community cohesion and integration which is especially important at a time when we have so much uncertainty and upheaval among communities.’

The service was developed after a Target Housing survey of 193 EU migrants in 2014 found that a large proportion  were living in poor/and overcrowded accommodation.  The overwhelming majority had limited understanding of their rights and responsibilities, what statutory services do or how to engage with them.