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Government extends their powers to support EEA nationals

Government extends their powers to support EEA nationals

Government extends their powers to support EEA nationals

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) recently provided an update in relation to the support they will offer to EEA Nationals who are rough sleeping.

You can read the MHCLG statement below: 

As you may be aware, in acknowledgement of rising numbers of EEA nationals sleeping rough, the Government have extended the powers to support certain EEA nationals who are not eligible for other types of support, for a maximum of 6 months from 30 September 2019 in Greater London, Luton, Bedford and Milton Keynes.

In practice, this will mean that these local authorities will be able to offer up to three months of emergency accommodation alongside support to eligible rough sleepers. This gives local authorities the powers to accommodate and support some particularly vulnerable rough sleeping EEA nationals over the winter period.

It means that job seeking, EEA national rough sleepers, or those in their first three months of being in the country, will be eligible for non-statutory homelessness services, such as night shelters or hostels, on the same basis as those who are currently eligible for these services e.g. UK national rough sleepers and EEA national workers – they now have an equal right to access these services alongside these other groups should a space be available.

The offer of accommodation and support is limited to a maximum of 3 months.

If any stakeholders would be keen to hear more about this change and to discuss how best to support the rough sleepers who might be helped, MHCLG officials can be contacted at:

Catherine Bennion – Deputy Director for Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Delivery – Catherine.bennion@communities.gov.uk

Tom Preest – Head of Rough Sleeping Adviser Team – Tom.preest@communities.gov.uk

Ciaran Donnell – Rough Sleeping Delivery Lead – Ciaran.donnell@communtiies.gov.uk

If you would like specific information on what this may mean for GLA or borough rough sleeping services please contact David Eastwood as the GLA rough sleeping lead david.eastwood@london.gov.uk and cc: in RoughSleepingCommissioning@london.gov.uk and the team will be able to provide information on what this change means at an operational level.

In our ‘2018 Frontline Worker Survey’, frontline workers overwhelmingly agreed that there are several barriers when accessing specialist immigration support. The survey found that 47% of frontline workers from London were supporting people who were homeless as a result of their immigration status.

It was further acknowledged that supporting people with immigration issues can often involve complex legal applications. Several frontline workers suggested that it wasn’t their role to provide such specialist legal advice – and so alongside training, there also needs to be improved signposting and availability of specialist advice to refer to.

Are there any other barriers you find when accessing specialist immigration support for the individuals you work with? Please let us know by taking part in our Frontline Worker Survey 2019.

Complete the survey here.

The survey is confidential and anonymous, and we will not be able to trace responses back to individuals or to organisations.
The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete and will be open until close of play on Wednesday 26th November 2019. 

Praxis, the Frontline Network Partner facilitating the Pan-London Migrant Frontline Network, recently held an event looking at the entitlements to housing and welfare benefits for EEA citizens and their family members who have been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Read their blog on 'Rights & Entitlements For Those With Status Under The EU Settlement Scheme'.

You can also download further information on these entitlements here.

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