What do you do and where do you live for example if you are a young mother with a couple of children, are caught up in the wrong crowd, and have been charged for fraud? Imagine if, on top of this you then receive a 12 month prison sentence? Of course family can sometimes look after the children for the short term. But where can mum live happily ever after with her children after release from prison? Certainly not in the area where her problems all started!
That’s where the Commonweal supported Re-Unite Network steps in. Re-Unite provides mum with a tenancy and home of her own in a suitable area, offering her a fresh start for her family, along with access to support such as finding employment and education.
In another scenario – you could arrive in the UK as a child, see your parents removed from the country due to asylum not being granted, be educated here and then at 18 find yourself in asylum limbo, without a clear residential status. Do you then just keep calm and carry on with your life by working cash in hand and risk whatever accommodation you can find until you know the outcome of your case? For many people there is no choice but to do this.
Commonweal Housing is working in partnership with Praxis to develop the No Recourse to Public Funds project. This project is intended to assist those families who are left in limbo (often for a number of years) within the asylum system. London boroughs have a responsibility and duty of care to house families with children at risk from homelessness, under Section 17 of the Children’s Act. However until now most families in this position were placed in unsuitable B&B hotels or were renting from unscrupulous landlords. So our project partner Praxis is currently working with London Boroughs to accommodate families in this position to make sure they can be safely housed.
Commonweal uses its current and future housing provision to house families facing such huge social injustices.
Whether it’s providing mothers (after release from prison) and their families with a secure home to rebuild their lives, or safe accommodation for vulnerable destitute families without access to employment or welfare, these projects play an important role in helping to keep families together.
Top blog image © Christain Senger