A new project was launched today (2nd February) by Homeless Link in partnership with NACCOM, that will aim to improve the homelessness offer for migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) in England.
With funding from the Lloyds Bank Foundation, the project will work with services, commissioners and people with lived experience to develop a shared roadmap towards inclusive homelessness services. It aims to mainstream relevant support offers such as immigration advice and build homelessness practitioners confidence on how to respond appropriately to the needs of homeless migrants in their communities.
Currently, statutory provision for people with NRPF is constrained by national legislation. This project will gather evidence to support the national case for the suspension of NRPF. Local innovation during Covid-19 has shown that much can be achieved by services and commissioners even within the current legislative framework.
The outbreak of Covid-19 shone a spotlight on the significant numbers of individuals and families living in destitution due to the NRPF condition, and the urgent need for sustainable and humane solutions to help local areas respond. According to the NAO, around 2,000 people (half of the total) who remained in hotels and other emergency accommodation at the end of September 2020 were ineligible for benefits. Homeless Link’s #EveryoneInForGood campaign made clear that we cannot afford to see a return to business as usual and protecting people regardless of their immigration status.
We’re keen to hear from members who think their local area has good practice to share, or is just finding their way in terms of planning to tackle migrant homelessness. The project will run for a year and will involve a series of meetings and events with stakeholders in selected areas of England, including those with well-developed strategies and those who are earlier in their planning. This will be followed by a policy report and campaign targeted at decision makers at national and local levels.
We will show the human and economic cost of NRPF, share good practice, and recommend viable alternative approaches within the current legal context. The work will reflect new learning from Covid-19 emergency responses and build the case for national policy reform.
The project will be formally kicked off at the upcoming Homelessness and migration conference on March 17th, hosted by Homeless Link, Praxis Community Projects and the Frontline Network.
This blog was first published on the Homeless Link website.