During lockdown we've seen that street homelessness doesn't have to exist. Under 'Everyone In', the government provided extra funding and charities and statutory agencies worked together to ensure that during the peak of the pandemic, no one needed to sleep on the streets. At the same time, people who were seeking asylum and had received a decision on their claim were allowed to stay on in their asylum accommodation, whatever the outcome of their claim.
Last week though, the Home Office suddenly announced that they would be issuing eviction notices to hundreds of people who had received a negative decision during the last 6 months. This makes absolutely no sense in the current climate, and it will force countless people into destitution and street homelessness. You can read more on this from our friends at NACCOM and Asylum Matters.
We have seen the impact of the pandemic on our clients and we have read the research and reports which demonstrate that Covid disproportionately affects people who are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and those who are experiencing poverty and deprivation. Along with many likeminded organisations, we are calling on the Home Office to immediately halt their plans to resume evictions for people who have been refused asylum, because we believe that no one should be forced into destitution and homelessness. Especially during a pandemic.
Our friends at Asylum Matters have drafted a letter for individuals to send their MP, attached below.
It will take just a few minutes of your time to complete this and email it to your local MP and you can find their details here on the They Work for You website. Please would you stand with us at this time as we call for dignity and respect and the provision of safe accommodation for people who desperately need it.
Click the link below to open the template letter as a Word document. Don't forget that if you are able to edit the letter to make it more personal it could have even more impact! If you've previously written to your MP on similar issues, you could mention this, or you might want to thank them for speaking out previously on similar issues.
Please can you let us know if you write to your MP and most importantly, if you get a response at all! Simply drop an email to [email protected]
Thank you so much in advance.