Our Resources page includes a regularly updated selection of reports and publications related to destitution. Please click on the links to find out more:
This resource, launched in July 2017, has been produced by NACCOM and Homeless Link to support schemes accommodating destitute asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants through hosting. The resource is designed to support the establishment of new schemes and promote good practice in existing schemes. Our thanks to Joseph Rowntree Foundation for funding the Toolkit, and to all the NACCOM Members who contributed with examples from their projects.
If you would like to receive a hard copy for yourself or your organisation, please contact us.
You can download the PDF here.
Our latest Annual Report contains analysis from the 2016-17 accommodation survey, focusing on rising needs and outcomes achieved across the network. It also includes an overview of our capacity building and awareness-raising activities and features case studies from service users and member projects.
The report also includes an overview of our financial operations in 2016-17. If you would like to receive a hard copy of this report, please contact us.
Tackling Homelessness and Destitution amongst Migrants With No Recourse to Public Funds - Lorraine Lois and Dave Smith
A Report on the Extent and Nature of Accommodation provided by NACCOM Member Organisations.
Reports by, or featuring the work of, NACCOM Members
Troubling patterns of street homelessness and vulnerability to abuse amongst destitute refugees have been uncovered by new research from the Jesuit Refugee Service UK (JRS UK). The study finds that most of the destitute refugees attending the JRS UK Day Centre had slept rough at some point in the previous year, and one in five had been forced to spend more than a month on the streets. More worrying still was that a third of those with accommodation reported not feeling physically safe there.
The research, undertaken just before Christmas, uncovered a widespread pattern of sporadic street homelessness affecting men and women of different ages and backgrounds who had fled to the UK for safety and sought asylum, but struggled to gain recognition of their status as a refugee. Unable to leave the UK, yet barred from working and with no government support they were left destitute, often for many years, as they found themselves subject to the web of policies described by policy-makers as the “hostile environment agenda”.
62% experienced street homeless in the last year
36% feel physically unsafe in their
47% have no regular place to sleep
87% do not feel in control of their accommodation
42% feel uncomfortable with those they live with
JRS have put together a comprehensive list of recommendations and advocacy actions alongside the report, please take a look below.
Housing Justice oversee a UK wide Church and Community Night Shelter Network which includes several NACCOM Members. Their recent impact report demonstrates the increasing need for night shelter accommodation across the UK including amongst refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. Statistics collated across the network show that of guests attending shelters, one in ten had no recourse to public funds.
For ten years the British Red Cross, Boaz Trust and other agencies have supported destitute refugees and asylum seekers in Greater Manchester through a unique partnership. This report was written after surveying 150 of those people about their day-to-day lives and the reasons for their destitution.
The report is the first attempt to map destitution among asylum seekers and refugees in Greater Manchester. It makes depressing reading, revealing that one in ten people using the service has been destitute for more than ten years, and almost half have been destitute for at least two years.
Reports produced in partnership with NACCOM
The 28-day move-on period in the UK is leaving refugees on the brink of extreme poverty. Evidence from people who use Red Cross services shows that newly recognised refugees are struggling after successfully applying for asylum. Many can’t move from asylum support to mainstream benefits and employment within the 28-day period afforded to them by the Home Office.
Our new report, Still an ordeal: The move-on period for new refugees, examines the experiences of people who use British Red Cross refugee services. Their stories help explain why many new refugees fall into poverty so soon after getting a positive decision on their asylum application.
In 2014, we published a report that showed the move-on period was an ordeal for new refugees. Four years on, despite some positive policy changes in the intervening years, it is still an ordeal. Further changes are now needed, including extending the move-on period to at least 56 days.
- Twenty-eight days is not enough time for newly recognised refugees to move onto mainstream benefits or find somewhere new to live. All 26 refugees who took part in our research faced problems and were left without their most basic needs for up to 72 days.
- Universal Credit has made it almost inevitable that refugees will be left without support. An automatic 35-day wait to receive the first Universal Credit payment is completely incompatible with the 28 days afforded to newly recognised refugees to access Universal Credit.
- The safeguards within the Universal Credit system to ensure claimants are not left without support are often not accessed by refugees. They are often unaware that they are eligible or cannot receive them because they don’t have a bank account.
The British Red Cross supports around 15,000 refugees and asylum seekers each year who are extremely poor and facing destitution. One in five have refugee status.
We give them help such as food vouchers, as they’re unable to meet their basic living needs.
What needs to change?
Since 2014, the government has made a number of changes to help refugees after they get their asylum decision. But our research shows that more needs to be done.
All parties involved need to work better together to make sure that fewer people are left without support following the ‘move-on’ period. This includes the Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions, JobCentre Plus, refugees and the charities working with refugees during this period.
We’ll be working with the government to make this happen – and continue to help those who have the right to a life here.
Our calls to decision makers:
- Extend the move-on period to at least 56 days, to avoid a break in support.
- Provide more support to newly recognised refugees to help them navigate the move-on period and apply for Universal Credit.
- Ensure that newly recognised refugees are able to open bank accounts more quickly and easily.
However, our research shows that changes to the legal aid system have left many people seeking asylum completely unable to access the legal support they need to make their case for protection from violence or persecution. This is denying justice to some of the most vulnerable people in our country.
The Strategic Alliance on Migrant Destitution has produced a report outlining the scale and nature of destitution, types of support available, testimonies of service users and recommendations for future actions. A blog on the report’s findings can be found at the Homeless Link website.
Asylum and Refugee Support: Civil Society Filling the Gaps? - Dr. Lucy Mayblin & Poppy James, October 2017
This report asks the question, ‘What is the scale of the refugee third sector response to gaps in the support regime for asylum seekers, refused asylum seekers and refugees?’ and explores the financial cost to the refugee third sector of poverty and destitution among these groups, including the scale of the sector and the number and needs of people that are being supported. It also looks at how third sector groups are funded and makes key recommendations for changes to the sector. NACCOM, British Red Cross, ASSIST Sheffield and Asylum Welcome all featured as case studies in the report.
Models of Accommodation and Support for Destitute Migrants with NRPF - Produced for Housing Justice, NACCOM and Praxis by Ceri Hutton and Sue Lukes, April 2015
A resource for practitioners and groups who want to get involved in accommodating destitute migrants.
There are a range of projects across the UK which have highlighted the presence of destitute migrants and the need to develop responses to their humanitarian needs. These projects have also developed innovative practices that have the potential to inspire others. This resource identifies some of the elements of best practice in relation to these models.
This report explains the nature and urgency of the problems affecting destitute migrants, what solutions might work and how obstacles to helping them can be tackled. It also gives advice on overcoming legal obstacles to giving help to destitute migrants.
This study focuses on the legal needs of destitute refused asylum seekers. It builds on a 2013 report published by Asylum Aid: Rethinking Asylum Legal Representation. It sits within the 2015 movement of the homelessness and advice sectors whose aim is to collaborate and end destitution among migrants, and is addressed to funders, strategists and also to destitution support organisations. It shows that organisations that provide accommodation and destitution support are well placed to increase access to, and thereby the effectiveness of, asylum legal advice.
Publications by other agencies
This report written by Ruth Jacobs at Crisis builds on the prevention agenda established through the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) and calls on every government department to play their part to prevent and end homelessness.
The 28-day move-on period in the UK is leaving refugees on the brink of extreme poverty. Evidence from people who use Red Cross services shows that newly recognised refugees who receive leave-to-remain are struggling. Many can’t move on from asylum support to mainstream benefits and employment within the 28-day period given to them by the Home Office.
This report, written by Pauline Carnet, Catherine Blanchard and Fabio Apollonio, uses qualitative and quantitative data to understand why many new refugees are at particular risk of destitution in this 28-day time frame.
- Moving to mainstream benefits usually takes much longer than 28 days. One person in our study had to wait almost three months to receive such support.
- This delay is usually because of red tape and inefficiency from government staff. In total, we identified 23 factors that can affect the process.
- For some people, between five and ten different issues were causing a hold-up. As a result, all the new refugees in our study were living in extreme poverty.