To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has conducted an Equality Impact Assessment in relation to the decision to recommence evictions from asylum accommodation.
23 November 2020
Failed asylum seekers who have exhausted their appeal rights are eligible to receive accommodation and other support provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a legal or practical obstacle to their departure. The Home Office Voluntary Returns Scheme pays for the flight to the home country and provides reintegration assistance.
Only failed asylum seekers who are able to take steps to leave the UK, but choose not to, are therefore issued with notices that their support will be discontinued.
The process of issuing discontinuation notices is kept under regular review, taking consideration of public health guidance and the impact of the virus on those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
We have been working closely with National and Local health officials throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so.
We remain committed to working closely with the accommodation providers and communicating with local authorities to relieve pressure and capacity as much as possible and ensure that health guidance is being followed.
A review was undertaken in accordance with our Public Sector Equality duties and included careful discussion and planning with Public Health Agencies, Local Authorities, Other Government Departments and Stakeholders, which included members of the voluntary and community sector, on how support cessations should appropriately recommence.
We continue to consult public health officials in relation to the application of relevant guidance for supported asylum seekers.