Asylum: Sleeping Rough

Home Office written question – answered am ar 4 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of The Bishop of Chelmsford The Bishop of Chelmsford Bishop

To ask His Majesty's Government, following the publication of their rough sleeping statistics on 29 February which showed a 965.91 per cent increase from July to December 2023 in people sleeping rough after leaving asylum support over the previous 85 days, what consideration they have given to extending the move-on period from 28 days to 56 days for refugees leaving asylum support; and what assessment they have made of the impact this extension would have on homelessness.

Photo of The Bishop of Chelmsford The Bishop of Chelmsford Bishop

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of staggering evictions of refugees from Home Office accommodation, particularly where the person is working with their local authority or a third sector organisation, to prevent their homelessness.

Photo of The Bishop of Chelmsford The Bishop of Chelmsford Bishop

To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to work with the third sector to jointly create a comprehensive and properly funded transition process for people whose asylum support is due to end, to enable information and support around housing and benefits to be given as far in advance as possible.

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Second Permanent Secretary and I recently met with the Bishop of London to discuss the Government support available to newly recognised refugees moving on from asylum accommodation.

Following the service of an asylum decision, an individual continues to be an asylum seeker for the purpose of asylum support until the end of the relevant prescribed period set out in legislation. This period is 28 calendar days from when an individual is notified of a decision to accept their asylum claim and grant them leave and we have no plans to extend this period. Whilst our legislative power is clear, we do in practice already extend support beyond this. Our current process means that individuals can remain on asylum support for at least 28 days after they have been issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which means that individuals have longer than 28 days to make arrangements to move on before their asylum support ends. It is important that individuals initiate plans to move on from asylum support as soon as they are served their asylum decision in order to maximise the time they have to make move on arrangements.

We offer move on support to all individuals through Migrant Help or their partner organisation.  This includes providing advice on accessing the labour market, on applying for Universal Credit and signposting to local authorities for assistance with housing.  Individuals do not need to wait for their BRP to make a claim for benefits and are encouraged to do so as early as possible if they require them.

We continue to identify and make efficiencies in supporting newly recognised refugees during the move on period and to mitigate the risk of homelessness. We are fully committed to working with partners in doing this. We have already worked closely with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to ensure the right asylum decision data is being shared with local authorities to enable effective planning and to lessen the impact on existing homelessness and rough sleeping pressures.  We are also utilising Home Office Liaison Officers to replicate part of the Afghan resettlement move on process. We have been working in three local authority areas since December 2023; Glasgow, Brent and Hillingdon. This has now been expanded to Manchester and Liverpool.

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