Migrant fund's five month delay challenged by Patrick Harvie

An emergency accommodation fund for destitute migrants, promised by the government in June, has yet to be delivered, Patrick Harvie has revealed.

The government had accepted the recommendations of its own Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group five months ago, however, Nicola Sturgeon was unable to provide an update on progress made to deliver funding for short term emergency accommodation for destitute migrants not entitled to statutory homelessness assistance.

The Greens’ co-convener challenged the First Minister at Holyrood over the delay and said the government needs to step up its response in order to prevent a “humanitarian crisis on our own doorstep”.

Mr Harvie, Glasgow’s Green MSP, said:

“Five months after the Scottish Government accepted the recommendation that there must be funding for emergency accommodation for those at immediate risk, we desperately need to know what progress is being made and when it’ll be available. This provision does not yet exist, and with winter coming, it’s needed now.

“We need more than just words; we need immediate action; we need an urgent timetable for implementation – a commitment to fund an integrated service with emergency accommodation and support services support services for vulnerable migrants.

“People like Abdul. Refused asylum, but terrified to return to Afghanistan as it is not safe, Abdul has been destitute for two years in Glasgow. He has serious epilepsy as well as mental health issues stemming from his persecution at home and his homelessness here. He will again face another unsafe night on the streets with literally nowhere to go.

“We know that there is no legal barrier to funding these services, even for those people the UK has abandoned with the label ‘no recourse to public funds’. No-one should be destitute in 21st century Scotland and we want a clear commitment that the government will take the action necessary to prevent this humanitarian crisis on our own doorstep.”