An allocation of a housing association tenancy is classed as a public fund for immigration purpose when it is offered to a person through a council’s register or lettings system.
Some housing associations operate their own allocations list, so that a person can apply to them directly for a tenancy. A person who has no recourse to public funds can be allocated a tenancy if they apply directly to the housing association and this will not be classed as a public fund for immigration purposes. However, they may also need to show how they can afford to pay the rent when they are unable to claim benefits to cover this.
A housing association in England will also be required to carry out a right to rent check when a tenancy is offered directly to a person, rather than through a council's allocations register. This should not prevent a person who has leave to remain from accessing a tenancy but a person who has no immigration permission will not be able to unless an exception applies. The government provides information about who the right to rent scheme applies to and when an exception applies in this short guide to the right to rent.
A council should be able to provide a list of housing associations in the local area.