Ealing Labour believes that no one should be forced to sleep rough, regardless of their immigration status. Far too many people sleep rough after having fallen through the welfare net, and also face physical and mental health conditions.
Ealing Council has written to Robert Jenrick and Priti Patel, along with over 40 local faith and voluntary sector leaders calling on them to grant rough sleepers with “no recourse to public funds” (known as NRPF in local government terms) the status of Covid-19 refugees, so they can receive the help and support they need.
This vulnerable group of people are non-European Economic Area nationals who, for immigration status reasons, cannot claim benefits, legally work, or legally rent a home. Many of them have no legal documentation, leaving them effectively stateless.
We’re facing a cliff edge in March 2021 when the money we have to support rough sleepers will run out. That means at least 87 people in Ealing will be forced back on to the streets – more than any other local authority in the country.
The government knows this will happen, and they can still change course. They must change the law, and offer refugee status to those impacted.
The “everyone in” directive from government – which called for all rough sleepers to be housed in emergency accommodation during the height of the pandemic – must truly mean “everyone”. Council and charity outreach teams are engaging now with people who were too terrified of the Tories’ hostile environment to risk seeking support.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to support all vulnerable rough sleepers off the streets.
Sign our petition & join the campaign.