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Asylum Support Update

Home Office reverses policy on 7-day evictions after surge in refugee homelessness.

In September, the Migration Justice Project expressed concern at a new Home Office policy of giving newly-granted refugees just seven days to leave their asylum accommodation and make alternative arrangements. This policy has predictably been linked to increased street homelessness for refugees in England.

It appears that in the mouth of the Christmas holiday the Home Office have quietly reversed this policy and reinstated the previously standard 28 days notice, starting when a refugee receives their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Whilst 28 days still falls short of the 56 days that charities are calling for, the reinstatement of the notice period will provide some relief to newly-granted refugees and support services, as well as reducing the risk of destitution and homelessness.

You can read about a newly-granted refugee’s next steps in our updated Refugee Transition Guide

Holiday period

Asylum support cessations (“move-ons”) will stop across the UK from 23 December 2023 – 2 January 2024. This means no-one should be asked to leave asylum accommodation during this time. Move-ons will recommence on 3 January. Read more from Right To Remain.

Challenging a Notice To Quit (eviction)

There are some circumstances in which you can ask the Home Office to reinstate your asylum support if you have been asked to leave your Mears accommodation. According to Migrant Help’s website:

The Home Office may consider reinstating support if one of the following apply:

If you receive a termination of support letter or notice to quit and

  • You have not received 7 days’ notice
  • You have not received your BRP
  • You have reported the errors on you BRP and these have not yet been corrected
  • Or you require adaptations to your property

If you meet this criteria, you should immediately contact the Migrant Help helpline on 0808 8010 503, or use the Webchat function.

You may also challenge an offer of temporary housing from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive if you believe it is unsuitable. You can find more information on page 14 of our Refugee Transition Guide – contact Housing Rights for specialist advice before you refuse a housing offer.