Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) are very concerned about the potential impact of the implementation of the Right to Rent for refused asylum seekers. The crucial issue is that the Act will deprive refused asylum seekers of shelter. They almost invariably live in rented accommodation while considering their best options – supported either by relatives, friends or a charity such as SWVG and other destitution projects across the NACCOM (No Accommodation Network). The Act will make it illegal for these people to live in any rented accommodation. Forced into homeless destitution and vulnerable to exploitation, they will not have the security and stability necessary to consider either taking Voluntary Return or, if appropriate, collecting the necessary evidence for a Fresh Claim.
SWVG submitted a letter to Lord Richard Best who, together with the minister is chairing the Home Office evaluation of the pilot in the Midlands.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and the Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) have started work with partners throughout the West Midlands to independently evaluate the ‘Right to Rent’ scheme. This is independent of the Home Office evaluation which started in Feb this year.
The SWG are seeking comments and signatories to the letter, so please share this widely and if you support the letter and wish to add your name and organisation please email Anne Leeming –firstname.lastname@example.org