Statement in response to Government's changes to immigration rules

A spokesperson for Islington Council said: “Homelessness is not a crime, and should never be treated as such. Anyone sleeping rough is in need of help and support, and the council's priority will always be getting people into safe, secure accommodation and giving them the support they need to move off the streets.

“The Government’s change to immigration rules, which makes rough sleeping a legal ground to cancel or refuse permission to stay in the UK, is we believe unfair and discriminatory, and likely to play into the hands of exploitative landlords and employers. Islington Council will not collaborate with these rules, and will do all we can to protect anyone sleeping rough in our borough.

“The work we do to help rough sleepers is based on trust.  The success of our work depends on our ability to gain, nurture and maintain the trust of the rough sleepers we work with who are often very vulnerable, hesitant to seek help, and traumatised. Trust is vital so people can tell us about issues like exploitation, modern slavery, abuse and other vulnerable people at risk.

“We will not compromise this by cooperating with discriminatory rules that make life harder for some of our very most vulnerable people.”

 

Media contact information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – media@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Contact Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us or 020 7527 2000