Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 50 Number 37, October 3, 2020 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

CAMPAIGN ALERT! No Eviction Into Homelessness

No Evictions into Homelessness from Asylum Accommodation

On October 1, the Migrants' Rights Network, NACCOM, and Asylum Matters, wrote to the Prime Minister calling for a reversal to the decision to evict people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) into homelessness. Evicting people into homelessness is always wrong, but is especially devastating now Britain returns to Covid-19 Alert level 4, Migrants' Rights Network says.

Migrants' Rights Network has been joined by 225 organisations and 575 individual co-signatories that asked the government to:

Immediately halt the evictions of people who have been refused asylum;

Place a fully funded duty on Local Authorities to accommodate people with NRPF conditions.

Thousands of people seeking asylum who now face eviction typically have no source of alternative income or savings, the letter says. Once made homeless by the inhumane NRPF conditions, they will rely on charities or local people in the communities for support. Charities supporting people who are experiencing homelessness have had to radically rethink how they provide safe accommodation, and local conditions mean that accommodation providers have significantly less capacity and serious concerns about their ability to support those most in need.

The letter reads:

We write with deep concern as a collective of migrants' rights organisations and individuals affected by the decision to re-commence evictions of people who live in asylum accommodation.

Evictions into homelessness at any time are unacceptable. At this time, as the UK returns to Covid-19 alert level 4, the risks to people affected by this decision are unacceptably high. It has been clearly evidenced that people from Black and Ethnic Minority Communities, including people facing eviction from asylum accommodation, face a significantly higher risk of poor clinical outcomes if exposed to the virus.

We therefore ask that you immediately reverse this decision so as to prevent people who have been refused asylum becoming homeless and destitute, and to protect the health and safety of both individuals and the general public.

In March 2020, the UK Government and devolved governments took sensible decisions that protected people seeking asylum, people at risk of homelessness with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) and wider public health. These measures included the suspension of evictions from asylum accommodation and the provision of accommodation to everyone experiencing homelessness, regardless of their immigration status, through the "Everyone In" directive and equivalent initiatives by devolved governments.

This protected many people when they needed it most and was a welcome, life-saving measure to individual and public safety. However, since September 15, people who have been refused asylum in England have begun to receive notices to leave their accommodation, with plans to restart evictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at a later date.

As these temporary initiatives come to an end, the likelihood of increased destitution and homelessness amongst those who are most vulnerable is heightened. This can and must be prevented. We support the UK government's aim to eradicate rough sleeping in this Parliament; however it is clear that this cannot be achieved if evictions from asylum accommodation proceed in this way, and without an end to NRPF conditions which stop Local Authorities from being able to provide support to everyone who needs it.

[...]

We are eager to speak with you and your Ministers to discuss in more depth the issues we have raised.

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Click here to read the joint letter and full list of signatories:
https://migrantsrights.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Reverse-the-decision-to-evict-people-with-NRPF-into-homelessness-joint-letter1.pdf


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