Brighton Charity Supports ‘Hostile Environment’ Victims


Brighton charity Thousand 4 1000 has been recommended as an example for other towns to follow in a new report by Liberty, the national campaign for civil liberties and human rights.

The report, published this month, covers all aspects of the government’s controversial “hostile environment” policy, which makes everyday activities like renting a house or opening a bank account difficult for migrants who cannot prove their right to live in the UK.

The policy has caused problems for many elderly people who were children of the “Windrush Generation”, such as Londoner Albert Thompson, who has been denied access to NHS services because he cannot prove his immigration status. While the government has been forced to apologise for these cases, the underlying policy has not been changed.

The report’s authors say that denying people legal access to housing on the grounds of their immigration status is forcing people into unsafe and overpriced accommodation, and that landlords are more likely to discriminate because of the policy. They found that 51 per cent of landlords surveyed said the scheme would make them less likely to consider letting to foreign nationals.

Jacob Berkson, a trustee of Thousand 4 1000, welcomed the report: “It’s encouraging to see our work recognised in this way. Three years after launching, regular donations from hundreds of local people are providing enough income each month to provide housing and other support to around 10 people who would otherwise be left homeless and destitute as a result of the hostile environment policy.

“But the more we grow, the more we are needed, as people find out about our services. So we urgently need more regular donations.”

As well as regular donations, of anything from £1 a month, the charity is looking for people with spare rooms or landlords who are willing to let property to refugees who have managed to secure their legal status.

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