Expert Link responds to 'Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules'

The Government have published their intention to deport people for rough sleeping from December 2020.

David Ford, Founder and CEO of Expert Link:

“As a network of people with lived experience of multiple disadvantages we hear many different stories from those sleeping rough. People from EEA countries who are fleeing violence and abuse, people who have made contributions for years and call the UK their home, people without any support or a safe place to stay.

We are all human beings and we all deserve the opportunity to live a fulfilling life.

These proposals from Government do not recognise our shared humanity. Instead of working to reduce rough sleeping in this country, the effect of these measures will be to punish people already in a desperate situation. They run the risk of reducing any productive engagement with support, breaking the trust and relationships needed to bring about positive outcomes, and pushing people into exploitative labour that puts their lives in danger.

We urge the Government to rethink this policy and engage with all relevant stakeholders, including those with lived experience of rough sleeping, to develop appropriate actions that reduce rough sleeping and give people hope for their future.”


Informing policy


Expert Link response - HCLG Committee Inquiry: Impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on homelessness and the private rented sector

The requirements for social distancing measures has focused many minds on how important it is to public health that individuals previously rough sleeping are appropriately housed. Our submission aims to support appropriate scrutiny of the important work underway now and in the future by MHCLG, as well as that of other statutory and non-statutory agencies, to ensure that people experiencing multiple disadvantages are safe. In particular, we have focused our evidence around:

  • Effective practice resulting in successful outcomes

  • Ineffective support and recommendations for change

  • Current issues (including self-isolation and social distancing, access to mental health and substance misuses support, and access to food and basic goods)

  • Challenges around offers for entrenched rough sleepers and recommendations for change

  • Priorities for post lockdown action to ensure public health requirements are met

Gathering evidence


David co-authored Hard Edges: Mapping Severe and Multiple Disadvantage in England, a seminal piece of research looking at the interaction between homelessness, mental health, substance misuse and contact with the criminal justice system

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