Immigration Act event

Drs Kim McKee and Sharon Leahy hosted a seminar in St Andrews on 8th June entitled: ‘The impact of the UK Immigration Act on Housing and Public Services’.  Funded by the Housing Studies Association and the St Andrew’s Centre for Housing Research, it brought together academics and colleagues working in policy and practice to share emerging evidence, and highlight gaps in current knowledge.


Chaired by Dr Kim McKee (Director, Centre for Housing Research), the event was opened by Dr Hannah Jones (University of Warwick) who provided the broader context about the ‘hostile environment’ and the role of the UK Government and the Home Office in creating this.  This was followed by a session featuring Dr Sharon Leahy (St Andrews) and Prof. David Robinson (Sheffield) who highlighted the impacts of migration and subsequent UK Immigration Acts on housing – continuity and precarity were key themes.  The subsequent session featured presentations from Dr David McCollum (St Andrews), who discussed patterns and perceptions of migration in Scotland, and Eloise Nutbrown (COSLA) who highlighted the devastating impact of hostile policies on migrants, some of whom are left destitute with no recourse to public funds.  The event was rounded off by presentations from Anna Pearce (Asylum Seeker’s Housing project) and Regina Serpa (Heriot-Watt).  Whilst Anna brought front-line experience of the challenging housing situations facing asylum seekers in Scotland, and the importance of advocacy and support, Regina drew attention to the experiences of homeless EU migrants in the context of Brexit.


Thanks to travel bursaries sponsored by the Housing Studies Association the event was well attended by early-career scholars (postgraduate students and postdoctoral research fellows).  Delegates from the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Scottish Refugee Council were also in attendance.  The event provided an excellent networking opportunity to bring together researchers in different sectors interested in issues pertaining to migration in general terms, and the immigration acts more specifically.  The event builds on Leahy and McKee’s ongoing research project on the ‘Right to Rent’ aspects of the Immigration Act (see publications in Antipode and People, Place and Policy online).


For more information please contact Dr Kim McKee (mail to: