New figures published by London Councils show that London boroughs are stepping in to support families who have no recourse to public funds.
London Councils’ survey of boroughs suggests that councils across London spent in the region of £53.7 million supporting 2,900 households with no recourse to public funds in 2016/17 – around £19,000 per family on average.
Having no recourse to public funds (NRPF) often means that households are permitted to live in the UK but are subject to immigration controls, which means they are not eligible for support from the welfare system.
Boroughs are a vital safety net for those with NRPF, which often include families with children and vulnerable young adults, as they have a duty to undertake an assessment of the needs of people who are classed as NRPF under current legislation.
Cllr Claire Kober OBE, Chair of London Councils, said:
“Families who have no recourse to public funds are often incredibly vulnerable and our survey shows that London boroughs are stepping in to offer much needed support despite the financial challenges they face.
“However this work is currently unfunded. If boroughs are expected to provide this essential support, it is crucial that they are provided with the resources required to do so.”
NRPF is a particularly acute issue in London, placing increasing pressure on London boroughs’ finances and services. At the moment, local authorities receive no funding to manage this.