06 Nov 2020

CIH joins plea to UK Government to reconsider new immigration rules targeting rough sleepers for deportation

In a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, CIH has joined with a group of leading homelessness charities and organisations, to urge the UK Government to immediately reconsider new immigration rules. In late October, the Government announced changes that would come into effect on 1 December which will make rough sleeping grounds for deportation for many non-UK nationals. Alongside the coalition, we are calling for the government to work with us to deliver more positive and effective alternatives.

Gavin Smart  |  chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing

As we enter a second period of lockdown in England, the economic impact will begin to spread quickly throughout the nation which could cause many households to struggle financially, making them vulnerable to eviction. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of these households is so important. We need Government to consider a second wave of the Everyone In scheme to make sure those who need emergency accommodation during this harsh winter period get it. This need has now also been heightened with this recent announcement, as some individuals will now lose their right to remain the UK if they sleep rough, even for just one night. This is extremely disappointing to hear.

Alongside coalition leaders Crisis, and 76 other homelessness and migrant rights organisation, we are appealing to government to build on the positive approach taken with the Everyone In scheme earlier this year. In the open letter, we have called for a 12-month suspension of no recourse to public funds conditions. This would enable non-UK nationals to move out of homelessness for good through access to Universal Credit and statutory homelessness assistance while unable to work during the pandemic.

You can read the full coalition letter here.

You can also read the comment piece in Inside Housing by CIH policy and practice officer – Rough sleepers will no longer be helped, instead they’ll be deported.