Ask the next London Mayor to end refugee homelessness

New refugees in London, who have been granted asylum after fleeing war and persecution, often find themselves plunged into homelessness right after receiving refugee status.

This is because they only have 28 days before they are evicted from asylum accommodation, face enormous barriers to accessing private tenancies and are not supported properly to find a secure place to live.

On May 6th Londoners go to the polls in the London elections. Will you call on the next Mayor to end refugee homelessness in the city?

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London has a proud history as a city that has provided protection to refugees across the decades. Yet the current system throws new refugees into an emergency situation at the very moment they should be looking forward to a new life.

The Mayoral candidates talk about ending London’s housing crisis and the next Mayor has the power to ensure new refugees are safely housed, fulfilling our commitment to them and transforming their lives.

Ask them today to show they are serious about making this a reality for some of the most vulnerable Londoners. 

Dear candidate,

As one of the candidates running to be the next Mayor of London, I’m writing to ask that you commit to tackling refugee homelessness in the city, by providing more support for new refugees to access London’s private rented sector.

London’s housing crisis continues to be the central social issue facing the city, and newly-recognised refugees are particularly vulnerable to homelessness.

This is because, after first receiving their refugee status, they have only 28 days before they are evicted from asylum accommodation. In that time, they have to transition onto Universal Credit and access mainstream housing, something that is almost impossible in such a short period of time.

The failure to access secure housing holds back refugee integration. It undermines their ability to access employment and education opportunities, and stops them from putting down roots in the city and contributing to their communities.

In particular, single refugees without a priority need for accommodation are at risk because they will be looking for homes in the private rented sector, and most tenancies involve large up-front costs.

Almost all refugees have no savings, because they are banned from working during their asylum claim and live on very low levels of asylum support. When they start to look for a tenancy, they find almost all options shut off to them because of the prohibitive cost of a tenancy deposit.

Establishing a new fund, administered by the Mayor of London, and financing tenancy deposits for new refugees, would have a huge impact for individuals.

For more information on the proposal, you can read Refugee Council’s new report, 'Keys to the City: How the next Mayor of London can help to end refugee homelessness’, which outlines why it’s so important that new refugees get more support.

London has a proud history as a city that has provided protection to refugees across the decades. Yet the current system throws new refugees into an emergency situation at the very moment they should be looking forward to a new life.

I hope you will be able to commit to this proposal, one which is central to ending homelessness in London, and which would strengthen the city’s record on refugee protection and integration.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,