As COVID restrictions begin to ease, the Home Office are considering their options to resume evictions have been paused since March 2020. We're very concerned about the impact this will have on asylum seekers who have had little access to services over the last year and will then lose access to housing and money.
We're calling on all our supporters to write to their MP and keep raising their concerns about the impact that evictions will have.
Below is a template letter you can use. It's just an example and if there is anything you would like to add to make it more personal please do. If you aren't sure who your MP is or what their email address is check out https://www.writetothem.com/. When writing to your MP always remember to include your postcode. If you have any questions please get in touch with Katy firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to help. If you recieve any updates from your MP please do also let Katy know.
Dear [name of MP],
Re: protecting people seeking asylum who are at risk of eviction and homelessness
On the 23rd March 2020, evictions from asylum accommodation were suspended. I welcomed this decision and recognise that it has temporarily protected people who would ordinarily be at risk of street homelessness once they exit asylum accommodation.
The Home Office are considering their options to resume evictions. If asylum evictions resume, people who have been refused asylum will be unable to access Local Authority homelessness services. I am extremely concerned that this will create a significant new population of people who are homeless in our city at a time when many support organisations are unable to offer face to face support and options for places to rest or sleep are very limited.
Currently ASSIST Sheffield is accommodating 37 people. As their night shelter and hosting scheme are not able to function they cannot take anyone else. I am extremely concerned that people will be left with no other choice than to sleep rough and will be at extreme risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19.
Research has shown that people from Black, Asian and Ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to die from Covid-19. As Covid-19 cases rise and multiple restrictions are put in place around the UK, I find it unacceptable that people who are currently being accommodated by the Home Office are being evicted into street homelessness.
How you can help:
I would welcome any representations that you can make on behalf of people who are at risk of eviction from asylum accommodation and would like to suggest some of the follow actions;
- To write to the Home Secretary/Minister for Immigration detailing your concerns and to ask them not to resume evictions of people seeking asylum
- To work with Sheffield City Council to ascertain what awareness and plans there are for this potentially new homelessness population.
I look forward to your response.
[Insert address including postcode]