No one should be punished for being homeless

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Everyone in our society should have a safe place to live regardless of their immigration status

No-one should be punished for being homeless.

Last month, the UK government published new immigration rules that will punish non-UK nationals for being homeless. This means that people born outside of the UK who experience homelessness could face deportation. These new rules come into force on 1 December 2020 so it’s vital we stand together and call on the government to scrap these rules.

Many people who have moved to the UK have built their lives here – they have worked for many years, raised their children and are a part of their local community. Yet these same people are shut out of support by 'no recourse to public funds’ conditions attached to their immigration status. They cannot access housing or welfare if they lose their job or get sick and cannot work. This sudden increase in pressure can push them over the brink and into homelessness. These rules will punish anyone who is homeless simply because they have fallen on hard times.

The new immigration rules penalise people in this situation and push them further from any limited support that might be available to them at the very point they need it most. The rules will also leave people more exposed to exploitation and at risk of being becoming victims of modern slavery because they fear being deported for rough sleeping.

Ultimately, the new rules will undermine efforts to achieve the UK Government’s commitment to ending rough sleeping in England, and efforts to end homelessness by national governments in Scotland and Wales

We are calling on the UK Government to scrap these new immigration rules that will push people further from support and will not help us end homelessness for good.

Instead, we stand ready to work with the UK Government to redesign the system so that everyone is treated humanely and with dignity and can get essential support if they need it. 

 

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