We challenge injustices towards families with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) through campaigns against local authority poor practice and by coordinating an accompanying scheme for people approaching social services for support. We are also starting to campaign on the issue of no recourse to public funds more generally.
No recourse to Public Funds
‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) means that someone doesn’t have the right to access ‘public funds’ because of their immigration status. Public funds include non-contributory welfare benefits and local authority housing.
People with no recourse to public funds include, for example, those who have overstayed a visa, people on a spouse visa or student visa, those who entered the UK without permission, refused asylum seekers and those who have been given leave to remain in the UK with an NRPF condition. Some EEA nationals may also not be entitled to benefits.
Some people with ‘no recourse to public funds’ can be at risk of homelessness and destitution. We believe everyone is deserving of support and the right to a decent life – regardless of their immigration status.
Fight against gatekeeping
We’re concerned about how difficult it is for people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) to get the support they are legally entitled to from local authorities.
Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 requires local authorities to ensure the welfare of children in their area who are ‘in need.’ Children facing homelessness, living in inadequate accommodation, or without sufficient funds for food and other essentials will almost certainly be ‘in need’. Section 17 support is not classified as a ‘public fund’. Support under section 17 can be for the whole family and can come in the form of housing, money, or other resources.
Local authority ‘gatekeeping’ of section 17 support is a systemic issue. Gatekeeping can include giving false or unclear information, making threats, leaving people to wait for a very long time, or refusing to provide temporary accommodation. Gatekeeping and poor treatment from social services leaves families in distress, in need and sometimes on the streets.
Lunch is not a luxury! Free school meals for all!
NELMA campaigns for free school meals for all who need them, regardless of immigration status, and for schools to be adequately funded so that they can provide this.