Social Justice

Number of homeless refugees in Cardiff doubles amid surge in Home Office asylum evictions

An average of 33 refugees a month have been evicted into homelessness in Cardiff since August, up from an average of 10 in previous months

Cardiff, homeless

Cardiff has seen the average number of homeless refugees rocket since August. Image: jax10289/Shutterstock

The number of refugees evicted into homelessness in Cardiff has doubled, as the Home Office closes hotels and speeds through the legacy backlog.

A total of 109 refugees were assessed as homeless after eviction from asylum accommodation in the Welsh capital between August and October, up from 51 in the same period in 2022, data obtained by The Big Issue shows.

Attempts to clear the legacy backlog of asylum cases, coupled with an effective reduction in the minimum ‘move-on’ time given to evicted refugees, has resulted in a nationwide homelessness crisis.

Facing a shortage of temporary accommodation, councils in England have warned of thousands being forced onto the streets without urgent financial support.

In Cardiff, an average of 33 refugees a month have been evicted into homelessness since August, up from an average of 10 in the months up to August.

Cardiff Council has made use of a hostel to put up those evicted from asylum accommodation, The Big Issue understands, and has put in place a staff team to deal with the approximately 350 evictions it has seen since the summer.

Eviction will be paused during extreme cold weather – a decision branded a ‘tacit admission’ from the government that its policies are driving homelessness – following pressure from local authorities.

But the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 300 councils in England, said the pause was not enough to prevent homelessness.

“Councils work hard to support refugees but a shortage of available, affordable housing coupled with accelerated Home Office decision-making on asylum claims means we could see refugees sleeping on the streets for Christmas without further action,” said councillor Shaun Davies, LGA chair.

Davies added that councils were already seeing a rise in rough sleeping, and needed flexibility to extend three-day cold weather pauses on evictions when necessary.

“Sharing data is vital, so we are also calling on the government to share information about how many asylum cases each local authority will have to support to help with local planning; to provide additional funding to support the move on process; and to commit to sticking to agreed notice periods for people having to leave their accommodation.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We work with local authorities to manage the impact of asylum decisions.

“Once someone is informed that their asylum claim has been granted, they get at least 28 days’ notice to move on from their asylum accommodation.

“We encourage individuals to make their onward plans as soon as possible after receiving their decision on their asylum claim, whether that is leaving the UK following a refusal, or taking steps to integrate in the UK following a grant.”

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