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Funding To Prevent Destitution During Covid-19

16th November 2020

Steps to mitigate UK ‘No Recourse to Public Funds' policy.

A further £278,784 is being made available to six organisations supporting people subject to No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).

The grants will support projects in Edinburgh and Glasgow which are helping people subject to the UK Government policy which imposes conditions on someone due to their immigration status and restricts access to welfare, housing, and financial support.

The projects receiving support focus on access to essentials, including food, clothing, essential travel and digital access. Outreach and advocacy support will also be delivered to help people understand and access essential services and maintain support networks.

The Scottish Government has repeatedly urged the UK Government to suspend its policy to enable people to access public services and health advice during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is a second round of funding and brings the total grants awarded through the Immediate Priorities Fund specifically for NRPF support during COVID-19 to £553,174.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:"These projects are part of the Scottish Government’s efforts to provide support for everyone living in our communities during COVID-19 and contribute to our overall response to the pandemic.

“The Scottish Government as well as many stakeholders have urged the UK Government to lift No Recourse to Public Funds restrictions during the pandemic, so far without success.

“Given the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, it is crucial that people can access public services and also health guidance, the majority of which is provided online, keep in touch with friends, family and networks and access the accommodation and support they need to be safe."

The six organisations receiving funding are:

Community InfoSource

Govan Community Project

Refugee Survival Trust

Refuweegee

Positive Action in Housing

The Welcoming

All are based in Glasgow, except for The Welcoming, which is in Edinburgh.

The funding support is for a 12 week project proposed by the grant recipient in response to the immediate needs of people who have limited support options due to NRPF restrictions.

Under the first round of grants, £274,390 was distributed between the six organisations to support 12 week projects which ran between April and July.

Further support is available to people subject to NRPF through wider COVID-19 response, including:

the £350 million Communities Funding Package announced in March (which the Immediate Priorities Fund is part of) provided funding to local authorities and third sector organisations to support people across communities. This new funding is not restricted by NRPF.ince 23 March, the Scottish Government has provided more than £1.5 million to third sector organisations to enable them to provide emergency hotel accommodation and support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This includes people who are rough sleeping or have NRPF.

£20 million has been made available to local authorities as a flexible fund to tackle financial insecurity. This is not restricted under NRPF and Local Authorities can use this funding to support people unable to afford essentials like food or fuel; they can also top-up Scottish Welfare Fund and Discretionary Housing Payment allocations.

a discretionary payment, equivalent to the Self Isolation Support Grant, can be provided to people with NRPF who are working on low incomes and would lose earnings where they need to self-isolate.