Asylum: Homelessness

Home Office written question – answered on 29th January 2021.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has consulted public health directors on the potential effect on public health of the cessation of people's refugee status in areas where those people are due to receive eviction letters from asylum accommodation.

Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what safeguards are in place to ensure that people who have been refused asylum will not become homeless after 21 days of receiving their cessation letter.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Failed asylum seekers who have exhausted their appeal rights are eligible to receive accommodation and other support provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a legal or practical obstacle to their departure. The Home Office Voluntary Returns Scheme pays for the flight to the home country and provides reintegration assistance.

Only failed asylum seekers who are able to take steps to leave the UK, but choose not to, are therefore issued with notices that their support will be discontinued.

The process of issuing discontinuation notices is kept under regular review, taking consideration of public health guidance.

These decisions currently remain paused pending consideration of the impact of the current coronavirus restrictions.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so.

Before taking any decision to resume negative cessations we will continue to work with and share our approach with Public Health authorities and will work within public health guidelines and legal advice.

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