We cannot end rough sleeping in the UK while there are people with no recourse to public funds

  1. The government has committed to eliminating rough sleeping 
  2. Many migrants who are legally in the UK have “no recourse to public funds” (NRTPF) as part of the conditions of them being allowed to stay in the country
  3. People with no recourse to public funds cannot claim housing benefit or local housing allowance
  4. This has presented a long standing challenge to those who try to stop people having to sleep on the streets. For example, in 2018 St Mungos found that, of the 158 homeless people who died in London since 2010, 46% were non-UK nationals
  5. On 26 March 2020 the government launched the “Everyone In” campaign by writing to local authority chief executives in England, asking them to urgently accommodate all rough sleepers in emergency accommodation “by the end of the week” in order to protect health and prevent wider transmission. This included people who would not normally be covered by homelessness legislation
  6. By mid-May 2020, local authorities reported having taken in 2,500 people who were not eligible for statutory homelessness assistance 
  7. In March 2021 The Minister told a select committee that “the department does not currently collect data on the number of individuals with NRPF in emergency accommodation or in move on accommodation, but that data collected at the end of May 2020 suggested that around 2,500 of the 14,610 people in emergency accommodation were people who would not normally be eligible for statutory homelessness assistance.”
  8. While we are in a pandemic Local Authorities and Central Government have put in place a number of measures to keep a roof over the heads of people with no recourse to public funds but these measures will not last.
  9. The Mayor of London’s website says that he “is working with the Government, London boroughs and charities to find… longer-term solutions. This work presents a huge challenge, especially for non-UK nationals who may not have access to benefits in the UK. The Mayor is continuing to push the Government to provide the funding and make the policy changes needed to open up options for non-UK nationals.”
  10. The National Audit Office found that “Everyone In has resulted in a large number of people remaining in emergency accommodation and not being able to move on from it because they have no recourse to public funds. The government needs to establish what action it will take with this population”

References:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmcomloc/1329/132905.htm

https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/homelessness/covid-19-response-people-sleeping-rough#acc-i-61701

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