Home office policy now evicts new citizens from their existing accommodation with only seven days’ notice. Previously, they were granted 28 days to find a new home. This is itself a reduction from the 56 days recommended by the government’s own Homelessness Reduction Act (2018).
Having sometimes spent years fighting for the right to remain, legal citizens now face living on the streets, as cash -strapped local authorities lack the resources to house them all.
Since the changes introduced in August 2023, British Red Cross Refugee Services have noticed a 140% increase in destitution for those they support.
According to Ravishaan Rahel Muthiah, the communications director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, “The government needs a joined-up, humane strategy that will help ease our homelessness crisis, not this short-sighted solution which puts those who are already vulnerable at risk of destitution.” She says that the new rule must be revoked, and local authorities must be given more support to invest in social housing.