30 November, 2023 - By West London Welcome

Our Winter Appeal

Can you help us to help our refugee community members get through this winter with safe housing, good health and dignity?

If you can, please donate to or share our Winter Appeal on Localgiving.

We are in the midst of the biggest crisis we’ve had since we started 5 years ago. In our time we have experienced many crises but nothing is as distressing and challenging for our community members and caseworkers as this housing crisis.

The government is currently trying to fulfil their pledge to clear their backlog of unprocessed asylum decisions by the end of this year, meaning that hundreds of people living in asylum accommodation in West London are suddenly being granted refugee status – and are then given just 28 days to leave the accommodation provided by the Home Office, find another room and a job or Universal Credit to pay rent. Normally, being granted refugee status would be cause for celebration, but the sheer numbers of people being granted refugee status mean that we are are overwhelmed with housing casework. Having been banned from working or receiving benefits while seeking asylum, people have no savings for a rental deposit or credit history, and it’s almost impossible to find landlords willing to accept housing benefit rates, prohibiting them from entering the private rental market.

Against the odds we’ve managed to find housing for ALL of our 45 community members granted refugee status who have been evicted from their Home Office accommodation since September, but, given the incredible pressure, we worry that we may not be able to keep this up. Read more about how we’re pulling out all the stops to house people, and Masoumeh’s housing crisis story, here.

Can you help us sustain our life-saving work to keep our community members off the streets? If we raise enough money we can help people with rental deposits, get people facing homelessness a room for the night and, with enough funds, hire another caseworker to support our small, highly effective, but currently very stretched team.

If you can, please donate to or share our Winter Appeal on Localgiving today.