Image: Nottingham Refugee Forum

A Nottingham charity boss has condemned the £9.58 given to asylum seekers each week as not sufficient to live on as the government announces cuts. 

Frank Forman, the director of Nottingham Refugee Forum, says the current system does not give enough financial support to vulnerable people which is leading to more rough sleeping. 

Currently, the government offers this cash support to asylum seekers who are housed in accommodation where food is provided, but the Home Office announced last month that this allowance will be cut to £8.86 per week in the new year.

This will leave them with just £1.26 per day. 

Asylum seekers in Nottingham can wait up to two years to find out if they have refugee status, and in this time they are not able to work to earn extra money. 

Frank said: “It’s not enough. That’s only enough to buy about two sandwiches.

“More people are getting refugee status in Nottingham but that can be challenging because we end up with lots on the streets.”

There are currently over 700 refugees in Nottingham waiting to be processed. 

Frank says that is potentially 700 people who will become homeless.

He said: “People are dispersed and put into a hotel or housing and while they wait they get £9 a week.

“There’s no management or planning. There’s loads of student accommodation in the city but you can’t afford that if you’re a refugee on benefits.”

Staff at Nottingham Refugee Forum give financial support to asylum seekers (Image: Nottingham Refugee Forum)

Refugees were given 28 days notice to leave their accommodation and stop receiving the allowance, but they’re now only given seven days. 

That’s all the time they have to set up a bank account, get a job, and find accommodation, says Frank.

The charity, based at The Sycamore Centre, in Hungerhill Road, St Ann’s, offers a face-to-face drop-in service, providing advice for up to 120 people per week. 

They help refugees to manage their council tax, travel, accommodation and employment.

Frank says the service is important to help asylum seekers and refugees survive with the financial support they do receive. 

He said: “We give them a chance to rebuild their lives.” 

The Home Office has refused to comment.