Source: Anglican Diocese of London
Leaders from faith and belief institutions across London have come together to jointly call on the Home Office to re-examine a recent change in practice which has meant that, since August, refugees are having much less notice that their asylum support will end than the stated policy of 28 days. Some are given seven days or less to leave their accommodation.
Many have been in asylum accommodation for months or even years, with no opportunity to work or build networks. They are now being given only days to navigate the various systems and authorities necessary to plan their next steps.
Many faith and belief organisations work together with those of all faiths, beliefs and none to support refugees and asylum seekers in a number of ways. Across London, churches, mosques, gurdwaras, synagogues and temples open their doors to receive asylum seekers and refugees. They are seeing demand for this support grow, overwhelmingly with the need to help those with new refugee status find accommodation.
The letter to the Immigration Minister, coordinated by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd & Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, calls on the Home Office to:
Re-examine Home Office practice, and work to ensure that all refugees have a minimum of 28 days from receiving their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) before they are required to leave their asylum accommodation in line with Home Office policy.
Urgently inform all councils and other relevant institutions that the notice of decision for the asylum claim is sufficient evidence for refugees to apply for housing and other support. An eviction letter is not required at this stage.
Move to extend the eviction notice period to 56 days, given that the 28 day move-on period is incompatible with the application processing time for Universal Credit and other areas of government policy and does not give newly recognised refugees the time to complete either of these processes.
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