Right to Rent checks are a key plank of the Hostile Environment for migrants, which Theresa May created as Home Secretary. This March, the High Court found that the scheme caused racial discrimination against British ethnic minorities and foreign nationals with a right to reside in the UK. JCWI succeeded in its claim, and the Court declared the scheme incompatible with fundamental human rights.  Landlords, scared of making mistakes with complex immigration paperwork, have simply been taking the safest route: renting only to people able to produce a British passport or who “look and sound” British.

It is an outrage that a Government policy is causing racial discrimination and forcing ethnic minorities into poorer and more exploitative housing by limiting their access to the housing market. But when presented with this damning court ruling, which states the scheme cannot be fixed or justified and must be scrapped to avoid human rights violations, Sajid Javid has refused to act. Instead, he is arguing that the Government should be allowed to cause racial discrimination against BAME groups and foreign nationals in pursuit of immigration control, even though the court ruling shows there is no evidence that the scheme works.

This is deeply immoral. We are proud in the UK to have a tolerant society which regards all racism as unacceptable. The Government must not be encouraging racism to pursue Theresa May’s hostile environment. We need an immigration system that treats all of us with dignity and respect, not one where the ability of minority families to build a home is considered expendable.

Sajid Javid has refused to act, but Parliament has an opportunity to create a fair, humane and evidence-based immigration system through the Immigration Bill. Parliamentarians must stand up for migrants’ rights by taking this chance to scrap the Right to Rent Checks and end the Hostile Environment.”

The following 81 individuals and organisations signed the open letter:

Satbir SinghChief ExecutiveJCWI
Ake AchiFounder and DirectorRight 2 Work UK
Andy GreggChief ExecutiveRace on the Agenda
Sian Summers-ReesChief OfficerCity of Sanctuary
Jabeer ButtChief ExecutiveRace Equality Foundation
Bella SankeyDirectorDetention Action
Judith VonbergCommunications OfficerMigrant Voice
Philli BoyleCalais ManagerHelp Refugees
Clare MoseleyFounderCare4Calais
Emma HarrisonCEOImix
Dan Wilson CrawDirectorGeneration Rent
Lisa DoylePolicy DirectorRefugee Council
Zrinka BraloChief ExecutiveMigrants Organise
Maike BohnCo-FounderThe 3 Million
Sarah MannDirectorFriends Families and Travellers
Jilna ShahInterim CEOMigrants Rights Network
Rosario Guimba-StewartCEOLewisham Refugee and Migrants Network
Sophie CartwrightPolicy OfficerJesuit Refugee Service
Sinthia ArefinLondon Renters Union
Peter StarkingsDirectorGlobal Future
Beth WilsonDirectorBristol Refugee Rights
Jumbo ChanLabour CouncillorLabour Councillor Brent
Cllr Una O’HalloranLabour CouncillorIslington Executive Member for Community Development
Cllr Sue LukesLabour CouncillorLabour Islington Migrant Champion
Lisa MatthewsCoordinatorRight to Remain
Guy TaylorCampaign ManagerGlobal Justice Now
Rt Revd Jonathan ClarkBishop of CroydonChurches’ Refugee Network
Omar KhanDirectorRunnymede
Cllr Maurice McleodLabour CouncillorLabour Councillor – Queenstown Battersea
Zoe GardnerAnother Europe Is Possible
Cllr Shaista AzizLabour Councillor for Rose Hill & Iffley
Corey StoughtonActing DirectorLiberty
Cllr Daniel StoneLabour Councillor for Stroud GreenLabour Councillor
Cllr Ruth GordonLabour Councillor Tottenham Hale Ward, Haringey.Labour Councillor
Mel SteelDirectorVoices in Exile
Lucy NabijouCordinatorHaringey Welcome
Pragna PatelDirectorSouthall Black Sisters
Dr Edie FriedmanExecutive DirectorJCORE
Lucia VinzonDirectorIndoamerican Refugee & Migrant Organisation
Daf VineyCentre ManagerHackney Migrant Centre
Yva Alexandrova-MeadwayPolicy and Campaigns ManagerConsonant
Rev’d Nigel Uden and Mr Derek EstillModerators of the General Assembly of the United Reformed ChurchThe United Reformed Church
Leila ZadehExecutive DirectorUKLGIG
Adele OwenDirectorGloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum
Jennifer Longford, Christopher Hill, David Mezzetti and Elena IsayevBoard of TrusteesRefugee Support Devon
Jennie GeddesDirectorFamily Refugee Support Project
Cllr James ChiriyankandathLabour Councillor, Haringey
Cllr Mike HakataLabour Councillor, Haringey
Niall mannRefugee and Migrant Centre
Cllr Mark BlakeLabour Councillor, Haringey
Eiri OhtaniProject DirectorDetention Forum
Revd Michaela Youngson“President of the Methodist Conference “Methodist Church
Mr Bala GnanapragasamVice-President of the Methodist ConferenceMethodist Church
Thousand 4 1000
Brighton Migrant Solidarity
Maya MailerCampaigns DirectorAsylum Matters
Guppi BolaInterim DirectorMedAct
Cllr Cleo LakeGreen CouncillorGreen Party
Cllr Kaltum Osman RiversGreen CouncillorGreen Party
Jilna ShahChief Executive Officer (Maternity Cover)Migrants Rights Network
Illary Valenzuela-OblitasViolence Against Women and Girls Policy CoordinatorLAWRS
Greens of Colour
Dianna NammiExecutive DirectorIKWRO
David SmithPolicy DirectorRLA
Dami MakindeProject Co-leadLet Us Learn, Just for Kids Law
Dave PrentisGeneral SecretaryUNISON
Paul HookHead of CampaignsRefugee Action
Latifa AkayDirector of EducationMaslaha
Celia ClarkeDirectorBID
Emiliano MellinoIndependent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB)
Asad RehmanExecutive DirectorWar on Want
Bill MackeithEnd Heathrow Immigration Detention
Toni SoniCentre DirectorCoventry Refugee and Migrant Centre
Kamena DorlingGroup Head of Policy and Public AffairsCORAM
Kunle OlulodeDirectorVoice 4 Change England
Sandhya SharmaGroup DirectorSafety4Sisters North West
Deniz UğurDirectorIMECE Women’s Centre
Inclusive Mosque Initiative
CARAG
Jamie BurtonChairJust Fair
Elwaldo RomeoChairWindrush Action
Paul ParkerRecording ClerkQuakers in Britain

You can read the open letter, published by the Financial Times on 1 June 2019, here.

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