The No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) project supports people seeking refuge in the UK who may otherwise have been left destitute and homeless as they look to make their case for seeking asylum but can't work or access benefits during this time.
Social investment from Trust for London, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Big Society Capital and City Bridge Trust in 2015 was provided to Commonweal Housing to develop an innovative cross-subsidy housing model, supporting those in this position. It used the funds to purchase properties in south London which were then leased to Praxis Community Projects, an organisation which provides housing management, specialist immigration advice and wider support to service users.
Praxis works with local authorities to house destitute migrant families who they have a duty to accommodate under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Income received from these properties allows Praxis to provide a number of free bed spaces to destitute migrants with NRPF, protecting them from homelessness.
The model, better suited to people’s needs, provides safe and secure accommodation whilst offering tailored advice and support. This has the potential to act as a stepping stone for people to move on.
The Guardian Public Service Awards recognise projects, teams and individuals making a real difference to people’s lives. The NRPF project has been nominated under the housing category with the winners announced at an awards ceremony on 26 November 2019.