Homelessness rises as section 55 bites

Almost 70 per cent of asylum seekers denied support under section
55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 have been
forced to sleep rough or are faced with imminent homelessness, a
group of refugee organisations warned last week.

Sixty-one per cent had been forced to sleep rough as a result of
being denied support from the National Asylum Support Service,
according to research carried out by an Inter-Agency Partnership of
asylum seeker agencies.

A further 8 per cent were facing homelessness and 70 per cent had
experienced difficulty obtaining food on a daily basis.

The report raises concerns that section 55 decisions frequently
make judgements on the credibility of the asylum claim rather than
focusing on whether the applicant has applied “as soon as
reasonably practicable”.

The report also claims many asylum seekers are being denied support
because the Home Office has dismissed their accounts of how they
arrived in the UK.

Meanwhile, an asylum seeker forced to sleep rough in a car park
after being denied support from Nass had his human rights breached
because he suffered inhumane and degrading treatment, the High
Court ruled last week.

Yusif Adam arrived in the UK in October at an unnamed port and
travelled to London where he claimed asylum. But immigration
officials said he had failed to apply for asylum as soon as

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