Refugees stage sit-in at Bury Town Hall wanting answers after being made homeless

  • Granada Reports journalist Simran Johal spoke to the refugees demanding answers

A number of refugees staged a sit in at a town hall asking for answers to where they should live after being made homeless.

The men and women have each fled their homes, but are unable to find new ones following the government's drive to reduce the asylum seeker backlog.

Many have been evicted from their homes after being granted the right to live in the UK - leaving them no longer eligible for asylum seeker accommodation.

Milad is one of 15 who staged the sit in at Bury Town Hall. He is staying on the floor of a nearby church, which is locked overnight.

He told ITV Granada: "They open the doors at 8pm every night, then at 10pm lock them, then they re-open them at 8am the following morning. It is like a prison."

Another refugees Zak goes to college five times a week, but says without a home he is finding it harder to do so.

"I plan to leave my college because I am shy to sit next to someone without a shower," he said.

He added: "Today we came to the town hall to ask for answers.

"We want to know how long we have to wait for accommodation.

"They say to us 'you have to sleep outside'. Some of us had a tent next to Tesco for a few months and no-one cares, and now we are fed up and we don't know what we have to do."

The group say they have nowhere to go Credit: ITV Granada

Bury Council said: "We have every sympathy with people who have been thrown out of their homes due to the Home Office policy of simply ending accommodation for people seeking asylum, whether their application was accepted or refused.

"Unfortunately our rough sleeper accommodation is now full and has a waiting list due to the recent effects of migration on rough sleeping in the borough and any rough sleepers on the streets is 80% due to migration issues and pressures."

Sue McCann has been teaching English to asylum seekers for three years Credit: ITV Granada

Sue McCann has been running English classes for asylum seekers for three years and said demand has flown through the roof.

"We used to average about eight people, but this year, in September, we've got 37 on the register so I'm now having to do two classes," she said.

"I think it's a disgrace people are having to live in the way that they are with this uncertainty, poverty, no house, no real dream of establishing themselves here."

In a statement the Home Office said: "Once a newly recognised refugee is issued a biometric residence permit, they get 28 days to move on from asylum accommodation."Support is also available through Migrant Help and their partners, which includes advice on how to access Universal Credit, the labour market and where to get assistance with housing."

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