Since November 2014, lawyer, writer and human rights campaigner Charlotte Threipland has been conducting research for HCLC and HMC into the standard of accommodation provided to migrant families under s17 of the Children Act 1989. Liz Davies from Garden Court Chambers was legal consultant to the report. It was funded by the Strategic Legal Fund.
The report highlights the severe housing difficulties faced by destitute migrant families supported by social services and who are simply not on the radar of political decision-makers, policy-makers or journalists. Amongst the 26 recommendations the report suggests are implemented by Central and Local Government, are calls for them to:
- Conduct a fundamental review into the provision of subsistence and accommodation support to section 17 families (Central Government)
- Consult on and publish statutory guidance setting out minimum standards for accommodation provided under section 17 Children Act 1989 (Central Government)
- Fulfil their temporary accommodation needs by using professional providers as letting agents who are members of ARLA (the Association of Rental Residential Letting Agents) and only using properties from accredited landlords (Local Government)