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18 June, 2020 Open access

Citizens UK writes to Secretary of State requesting meeting to focus on ‘immediate extension of housing support to all regardless of immigration status’

Community network cautions that excluding people with no recourse to public funds from support is 'a national catastrophe in the making'

Citizens UK has written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick requesting a meeting to focus on the 'immediate extension of housing support to all people regardless of immigration status'.

In its letter, Citizens UK - a broad-based community organising network that draws together schools, universities, hospitals, mosques, churches, synagogues, charities and other community groups - applauds the UK Government’s decision, as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) national response, to offer emergency temporary accommodation to those who are street homeless, including those with no recourse to public funds, but expresses its dismay that extended housing support will only be available to those who qualify for welfare benefits.

Highlighting that, in some areas, this could result in up to 50 per cent of those currently housed returning to the streets at a time when homelessness services such as day centres and night shelters remain closed, Citizens UK warns - 

'This is a national catastrophe in the making, which we feel could inadvertently undo all the good work the Government has done on this important issue.'

Requesting a meeting with Mr Jenrick by 30 June 2020, Citizens UK says it would like to - 

'... discuss how we can work together to develop better solutions and prevent the return of thousands of people to the streets, whom the Government are succeeding in supporting right now. In particular, we want to focus on the immediate extension of housing support for all people regardless of their immigration status.'

The letter from Citizens UK to Mr Jenrick is available from actionnetwork.org