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WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK Supporting people with No Recourse to Public Funds Good practice in homelessness services Tasmin Maitland, Head of Innovation and Good.

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Presentation on theme: "WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK Supporting people with No Recourse to Public Funds Good practice in homelessness services Tasmin Maitland, Head of Innovation and Good."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting people with No Recourse to Public Funds Good practice in homelessness services Tasmin Maitland, Head of Innovation and Good

2 Refugees have recourse to public funds! Refugee status Humanitarian protection Discretionary leave Indefinite leave to remain usually same entitlement to public funds as UK citizens and able to work although, increasingly, discretionary leave is awarded with NRPF

3 NRPF refers to people who are subject to immigration control and have no entitlement to welfare benefits or public housing  High risk of homelessness and destitution  No access to mainstream housing, welfare benefits  No / limited access to employment  Hidden homeless  Mistrust of statutory and voluntary agencies  Few specialist services  Generic services reluctant to engage – assume nothing can be done The issue

4 Asylum seekers o asylum claim in process, Home Office Asylum Support o reached the end of the legal process and been refused Undocumented or ‘irregular’ migrants o entered without a visa o stayed after visa expiry o other immigration irregularities Documented or ‘regular’ migrants with no income o entered with visa, loss of income due to change in circumstances Migrants who do not have the right to reside o includes non-EEA migrants and some EEA nationals Migrants who do not pass the habitual residence test o includes returning UK citizens Who has no recourse to public funds?

5 It is Home Office Immigration Enforcement’s role to take action where necessary, not the role of charities. Even when a client has absconded (i.e. evaded Home Office reporting, detention or deportation) there is no obligation on services to contact the Home Office and report them. It is legal to support ‘irregular’ migrants

6 1.Return to ‘country of origin’ 2.Regularise immigration status to remain in the UK legally 3.Start or re-start a claim for asylum 4.Get support to alleviate destitution Assessment & Support

7  Check status, collect information, source translation  Explain all the options at the start  Legal aid  Working with Home Office Immigration  Home Office financial support: o Section 95: active asylum claims o Section 4: hardship claims  Accommodation: o Specialist services o Voluntary sector – night shelters, SWEP, spare room schemes, hostels, supported housing etc  Local Authority / Social Services / Mental Health Assessment & Support

8 Statutory sources: o Home Office Asylum Support o Local Authority Homelessness Grant o Social Services o Mental Health Act o Domestic Violence (Local Authority) Voluntary sector:  Mixed funding streams for bed space allocation  Grants and donations  Challenging ‘contract culture’ Funding

9 Resources Homeless Link guidance: Other useful links:

10

11 Refugee Action’s Services Refugee Action is a independent national charity working to enable migrants to build new lives. With more than 30 years’ experience, we empower refugees, asylum seekers and migrants by providing confidential, impartial and non- directive advice. Choices

12 Model of Advice Choices Client Centred Explore all options available to client Life in UK Legal avenues (OISC 2) Impartial, non-directive & independent Empower clients to make their own informed decision Confidential No personal details need be given, nor will any be passed on to 3 rd parties (including UKBA), in order to obtain information and advice.

13 Motivation of Return Pull Factors Change of government Peace agreement Family Illness Death/bereavement Offer of employment Marriage Partner and family ask to return Homesickness Push Factors Refusal of asylum/appeal Time waiting for decision Refusal of a friend/family member Poor accommodation/Destitution Limited access to legal advice Unable to seek employment Language difficulties Isolation/loneliness Cultural differences/way of life Choices

14 Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes Assisted Voluntary Return for Irregular Migrants programme (AVRIM) Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP) Assisted Voluntary Return for Families and Children Programme (AVRFC) Choices

15 Eligibility Criteria Irregular Migrants Asylum Seekers or refused Asylum Seekers Migrants with Discretionary Leave to Remain Not eligible if: Subject to on going criminal proceedings in the UK Received prison sentence in UK which adds up to 12 months or more (FRS) Removal Directions issued Choices

16 Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes Our 3 programmes offer: Flight and onward travel to final destination Assistance with obtaining Travel Documents Reintegration planning Assistance at the airport In addition financial assistance is provided to: Asylum Seekers and migrants with Discretionary Leave to Remain - up to £1500 All families and unaccompanied minors – up to £2000 per family member Irregular Migrants -vulnerability payment up to £1000 in exceptional circumstances Choices

17 Client Journey Choices

18 Safeguarding Policies Physical and Mental Health Needs Victims of Trafficking (NRM, Salvation Army, First Responder) Domestic Violence High Risk Countries Unaccompanied Minors (Best Interest Assessment/Social, CFAB) Choices

19 Assistance by our Overseas Partners Meet and Greet at Airport Reintegration payments Advice and assistance Tailored reintegration packages Choices Algeria Bangladesh Bolivia Brazil China Ghana India Iraq Jamaica Malawi Mauritius Mongolia Nigeria Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Uganda Zimbabwe

20 How to contact Choices Clients can call us Freephone on: Or visit the Choices website: Choices We have multilingual Leaflets and posters available Drop-in Sessions: Mondays & Wednesdays 10am – 12pm 2pm – 4pm

21 Personal Contact Details Aftaar Malik Mobile: Choices Freephone Number: Referrals: Choices

22 Accommodating People with No Recourse to Public Funds  Set up Boaz Trust in 2004  To provide accommodation and holistic support for destitute asylum seekers  Currently supporting 78 people: 58 refused asylum seekers with NRPF and 20 refugees.

23 Accommodating People with No Recourse to Public Funds  NACCOM began in 2005  Network of organisations accommodating destitute asylum seekers and migrants  Currently 31 projects from Brighton to Glasgow  July 2013 there were 374 accommodated  naccom.org.uk/news report - “Tackling homelessness and destitution”

24 Accommodating People with NRPF – The Challenges  Not mainstream: against the tide  Hard to fund (especially statutory): no rents or HB  Not profitable  Long-term sustainability  The numbers with NRPF are huge!

25 Accommodating People with NRPF – Solutions  Think outside the box  Schemes will be ethos-driven  Quality staff working for less  Shared resources  Working with people of goodwill  Less statutory = more resilient

26 Accommodating People with NRPF – Schemes  Hosting: spare rooms in private houses  Night shelters  Religious orders / communities

27 Accommodating People with NRPF – Housing Schemes  Rented for NRPF Asylum Link Merseyside  Private Leased Boaz Trust  Vicarages / Presbyteries Arimathea Trust  Housing Associations Hope Housing  Rented Mixed Open Door NE

28 Accommodating People with NRPF – Considerations  There must be a way out of NRPF  There must be wide support, or staff and volunteers will burn out  Good communications are essential  Campaigning is also important  Funding will always be needed but seek sustainability

29 Accommodating People with NRPF – Conclusion  It can be done!  It requires determination and innovation  Ultimately there has to be a political solution


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