Joint statement – new Immigration Rules on rough sleeping

May 07, 2021

Joint statement – new Immigration Rules on rough sleeping

Changes to the Immigration Rules, published on 22 October 2020, made rough sleeping grounds for refusing or cancelling a person’s permission to remain in the UK. Last week, the UK Government published guidance confirming how these rules will now be applied.

The guidance does nothing to put our fears to rest.

We are gravely concerned about the impact of these changes. Everyone in our society should have a safe place to live and no one should be punished for experiencing homelessness.

This policy undermines this principle. It is inhumane and will make non-UK nationals in vulnerable circumstances fearful of asking for the support they need to get off the streets. It puts people at risk of exploitative work, accommodation, and potentially modern slavery, to avoid sleeping rough and putting themselves at threat of removal from the country.

We fear that victims of modern slavery in particular, (many of whom are recruited from, or end up on the streets), will fear that they will not be viewed as victims of crime, but instead as criminals. This will be used to deter anyone seeking help to break free of this crime.

We urge the UK Government to scrap these damaging new rules immediately to ensure everyone can access homelessness support without fear. We urge authorities to retain their focus on supporting people out of homelessness.

Governments across England, Scotland and Wales have shown they can take bold action to tackle homelessness. Building on this progress, we urgently need to see a clear, national strategy from the UK Government to end rough sleeping and homelessness for all.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive, Crisis

Polly Neate CBE, Chief Executive, Shelter

Steve Douglas CBE, Chief Executive, St. Mungo’s

Rick Henderson, CEO, Homeless Link

Mick Clarke, CEO, The Passage

Sally Daghlian, CEO, Praxis

Gavin Smart, CEO, Chartered Institute of Housing

Lucy Abraham, CEO, Glass Door Homeless Charity

Barbara Drozdowicz, CEO, East European Resource Centre

Mike Thiedke, CEO, Depaul UK

Sylvia Ingmire, CEO, Roma Support Group

David Ford, Founder and Chief Executive, Expert Link

Tim Sigsworth, Chief Executive, Albert Kennedy Trust

James Tullett, Chief Executive, Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London

Andrea Cleaver, Chief Executive, Welsh Refugee Council

Ewan Aitkens, CEO, Cyrenians

Charles Maasz, CEO, Glasgow City Mission

Annika Joy, Chief Executive, Destitute Asylum Seekers

Maggie Brunjes, CEO, Homeless Network Scotland

Lorraine McGrath, CEO, Simon Community Scotland

Alison Reid, CEO, Clan Childlaw

Duncan Cuthill, CEO, Edinburgh City Mission

Aaliyah Seyal, CEO, Legal Services Agency

Mark Goldring, Director, Asylum Welcome

Julian Prior, Chief Executive, Action Foundation

Jessica Hodge, CEO, Emmaus Bristol

Amanda Dubarry, Chief Executive, Caritas Anchor House

Amanda Croome, CEO, Booth Centre

Liz Rutherfoord, CEO, Single Homeless Project

Yvonne Hope, CEO, Barnabus Manchester

Dr Jan Sheldon, Chief Executive, St Martins

Jasmine O’Connor OBE, CEO, Anti-Slavery International

Pam Orchard, Chief Executive, The Connection at St Martin’s

Jackie Bliss, Chief Executive, HARP Southend

Carly Jones, Chief Executive, Sifa Fireside

Mike Barrett, Chief Executive, Porchlight

Dr. Dora-Olivia Vicol, CEO, Work Rights Centre

Kathy Mohan OBE, CEO, Housing Justice

Mark Grant, Chief Executive, Action Homeless

Simon Grainge, Chief Executive, Emmaus UK

Jane Cranston, Chair, Oxfordshire Homeless Movement

Jane Henson, Chair, Host Nottingham

Freek Spinnewijn, Director, FEANTSA

Ruth Moore, Director, St Wilfrid’s Centre

Fergal McCullough, Director, Manchester Men’s Room

Heather Petch, Interim Director, NACCOM

Karen Pearse, Director, Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Alicja Zalesinska, Director, Tai Pawb

Katie Dalton, Director, Cymorth Cymru

Helen Hodgson, Operations Director, Hope at Home

Debbie Royle, Deputy Director, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum

Sam Grant, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Liberty

Nimrod Ben-Cnaan, Head of Policy and Profile, Law Centres Network

Eileen McMullan, Policy Lead, Scottish Federation of Housing Association

Sushila Dhall, Capacity Development Lead, Refugee Resource

Salma Ravat, Manager, One Roof Leicester

Maeve Larkin, Manager, Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield

Jessica Brannan, Manager, Broxtowe Youth Homelessness

Laura McIvor, Project Support Coordinator, St Petrock’s (Exeter)

Jon Glackin, Coordinator, Streets Kitchen

Rachel Hall, Deputy CEO, Falcon Support Services

Hendrix Lancaster, CEO, Coffee4Craig

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