Asylum: Housing

Home Office written question – answered on 16th December 2020.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to suspend evictions from asylum accommodation during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

In March 2020, at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office paused ending support for people who had been granted asylum, or whose claim had been refused. This was done in respect of the full lockdown in place at that time, including a stop on house moves and a stop on people being moved out of rental property.

We said from the outset that this was a temporary measure which would be brought to an end as soon as it was safe to do so.

In August the Home Office restarted cessations of support in a phased way. This is necessary to reduce demand on the asylum system while prioritising the safety of those within the asylum system. We are not currently issuing discontinuation notices for those on Section 4 support. The process of issuing discontinuation notices is kept under regular review, taking consideration of public health guidance and reviewing each case on its individual merits.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so. We remain committed to working closely with the accommodation providers and communicating with local authorities to relieve pressure and capacity as much as possible.

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