Why The Unity Project started
Islington has been at the forefront of much of the work to welcome refugees and migrants and has a flourishing voluntary and community sector. We should be proud of this achievement in light of a trend towards xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment.
However, on two major issues, housing and legal advice, we are currently falling short. With the cuts to legal aid and an increase in fees for the Home Office many migrants who have an application to make are unable to do so. Local advice centres are well over capacity.
As a growing group of people from Islington with experience of working with local advice and support organisations we are engaging the community to respond to this need.
Migrants in the UK live in what the government calls a ‘hostile environment’, with barriers to healthcare, housing, education and legal advice. In 2013, the government began routinely granting people with human rights cases leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF). People with this status can work and pay tax, but are unable to claim benefits or access most state support.
Whilst not always a problem, it can in some cases be the cause of homelessness and extreme poverty.
You can read more about NRPF here.
We are based at New Unity on Upper Street. New Unity is an Islington-based charity (charity number: 1161363) focussed on social good.