Housing

Asylum seekers forced into homelessness, charity finds

Refugee Actions study finds asylum seekers left in abject poverty by Home Office delays to legitimate support

Asylum seeking families in the UK are falling in poverty and homelessness because the Home Office is wrongly denying assistance, according to a new report.

The research by the Refugee Action charity, based on the detailed analysis of more than 300 cases, shows asylum seekers are not getting the support they are entitled to, or are struggling with long delays to support.

Asylum seekers are waiting an average of almost two months (58 days) for housing and the pittance – £5.28 a day – they are entitled to for living costs, known as Section 95 support.

Many the organisation spoke to have been living on the streets and have struggled to eat a proper meal in several weeks. Some required counselling after contemplating suicide.

The majority of applicants for Section 95 support are initially refused, according to the charity’s research. But 92% of people who then challenge the decision have their support approved, showing an unnecessary period of delay in almost all cases.

The government must take urgent action to prevent some of the most vulnerable slipping through the cracks

“Our research exposes the appalling treatment of families and individuals who have escaped war and persecution abroad, only to be badly let down here in Britain,” said chief executive Stephen Hale.

“The failure of the Home Office to follow their own policies has frequently left people homeless, an unable to feed themselves and their families.

“The government must take urgent action to prevent some of the most vulnerable people in our society slipping through the cracks of the system.”

Refugee Action wants the government to apply rules regarding support for asylum seekers consistently and transparently. The organisation also called on asylum seekers to be given the right to work, as in the case in most European countries.

Photo: Jazzmany/shutterstock.com

Big Issue vendors are back!

It’s not just the shops that are opening again. From Monday 12th April onwards,  Big Issue vendors are back in business, with a big smile and a stack of magazines. Buy from your local vendor today!

Find out more

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
It's five years and four PMs since Tory vow to ban no-fault evictions. Why are we still waiting?
Theresa May announced no-fault evictions would be scrapped
RENTING

It's five years and four PMs since Tory vow to ban no-fault evictions. Why are we still waiting?

No-fault evictions put households at risk of homelessness over 80,000 times since Tory ban pledge
Renters Reform Bill campaigners call for the end of no-fault evictions
RENTING

No-fault evictions put households at risk of homelessness over 80,000 times since Tory ban pledge

Dropping leasehold pledge could cost Labour millions of votes, campaigners warn: 'Expect consequences'
Cladding protest in Westminster
Housing

Dropping leasehold pledge could cost Labour millions of votes, campaigners warn: 'Expect consequences'

'It's unforgivable': Michael Gove served 'eviction notice' by protesters over rising homelessness
DLUHC protest by HASL gives Michael Gove eviction notice
Homelessness

'It's unforgivable': Michael Gove served 'eviction notice' by protesters over rising homelessness

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know