Home Department written question – answered on 18th March 2004.

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Photo of Mr Iain Coleman Mr Iain Coleman Labour, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what mechanism his Department is monitoring the impact of section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 on (a) rough sleeping and (b) overcrowding in London.

Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Minister of State (Citizenship and Immigration), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism)

The Homelessness and Housing Support Directorate in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has been monitoring the effect of section 55 through regular contact with local authorities, in particular those who have significant rough sleeping problems. Local authorities obtain this information through regular feedback from their outreach teams and other services in their areas. They have been asked to report immediately if anyone is found sleeping rough who has been refused support under Section 55. No evidence has been received that there has been any significant increase in rough sleeping levels due to Section 55.

In London the Refugee Council, Refugee Arrivals Project and Migrant Helpline are grant funded to provide emergency accommodation to asylum seekers awaiting dispersal, including those awaiting decisions under section 55. Such accommodation must comply with all relevant statutory housing regulations.

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