Homeless charities unite against new rules that 'criminalise' rough sleeping

Friday, 6 November 2020 - 10:47am

Homeless Link has joined forces with Crisis, Shelter, NACCOM, Liberty, the Mayor of London and others to call on government to reverse plans for rough sleeping to become grounds for refusal or cancellation of permission to be in the UK.

We have come together to write to Home Secretary Priti Patel and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, urging the government to reconsider the new rules, which set a dangerous precedent and will make not having a home grounds for deportation for some non-UK nationals. 

Homeless Link will continue to work with our members to challenge this dangerous policy and evidence any harm done, both to services and individuals. 

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link: “We support the united call to reverse these counterproductive plans. The new rules will not help to end rough sleeping, but only serve to dehumanise and criminalise people for not having a place to call home. As has happened with similar policies in the past, the rules risk undermining trust in our members, homeless charities providing vital support during difficult times, and cause people to avoid seeking help in the first place. They will affect a spectrum of people, living in this country for a range of reasons, with victims of modern slavery particularly susceptible. If the Government is truly committed to ending rough sleeping, they should focus instead on working with us and our members to address the root causes of homelessness and provide the range of support that people need.”