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As the deadline for applications to the Government’s European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is just over six months away, Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) is encouraging those who need to apply to contact them for free support.

Following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their children must successfully apply to the Government’s EUSS by the deadline of 30 June 2021, or they may lose their right to live and work in the UK.

YHN manages over 26,000 properties on behalf of Newcastle City Council, with at least 820 tenancies held by EEA nationals. The organisation has registered as an immigration service and can provide advice and support not only to council tenants, but others across the region.

Immigration advice is tightly regulated in the UK, but YHN trained staff to deliver specialist support to help Newcastle City Council tenants navigate the process. The organisation has since gone on to win Home Office funding to deliver the service to many more people across the North of Tyne region.

The YHN EUSS advice service is now open to any Newcastle resident and many social housing tenants across the North of Tyne region, including those who live in properties managed by North Tyneside Council, Northumberland Council, Gateshead Housing Company and Byker Community Trust.

Jen Vinton, Customer Services Director at Your Homes Newcastle, said: “While we have been aware of the potential implications the EU withdrawal would have for many of our customers for some time, we also knew that lots of the people affected didn’t realise they needed to apply to the EUSS. This is particularly true of people who have had children born in the UK; that actually makes no difference to their status and they still need to apply.

“The application process must be completed online, and we know that many people who have tried to apply have struggled because of this. There is a real risk to livelihood for those who do not complete the application process for whatever reason, and this includes the threat of homelessness, which could potentially happen quite quickly.”

“I would like to reassure anyone who thinks this may apply to them that there is no need to worry, but I would urge them to act now and contact us as soon as possible to see if we can help, even if they have lived here for years and / or have children who were born in the UK. We are providing this service completely free of charge and you don’t need to be an existing customer of ours to access it”.

“The scheme also requires that applicants keep their records up to date, and may need to share evidence of their approved status with third party organisations to prove their rights in the UK, which we understand might also pose a challenge for some applicants, so our team will also be providing aftercare support to people following the application process.”

EEA, EU and Swiss citizens of Newcastle Upon Tyne and social housing tenants across the northern part of the region can contact YHN’s EUSS advice service by emailing or calling 0191 277 1190.