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Ramfel on funding cuts: “Redbridge Council will have more homeless”

PUBLISHED: 07:32 26 February 2015 | UPDATED: 07:32 26 February 2015

Rita Chadha, at the RAMFEL Centre, Ilford
the food bank

Rita Chadha, at the RAMFEL Centre, Ilford the food bank

Archant

A leading migrant charity has warned Redbridge Council that it will have to help more homeless people after funding for its services was cut.

A leading migrant charity has warned Redbridge Council that it will have to help more homeless people after funding for its services was cut.

The Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London (Ramfel) received confirmation that its monthly payment of £1,250 would be stopped earlier this month as the local authority aims to save £70million.

The charity, based in High Road, Ilford, offers assistance, on behalf of the council’s housing service, to rough sleepers not able to access public funds.

The council said Ramfel was given advance warning of the decision to stop its funding after the charity failed to provide financial information it required.

Chief executive Rita Chadha said: “Ramfel is, as to be expected, sad to hear that Redbridge Council will no longer be funding the provision of specialist advice services for ethnic minority communities.

“It will mean the council will have to deal with more people from ethnic minorities being destitute or street homeless.”

She said Ramfel had also been affected by the legal aid reforms in 2013, meaning housing cases were no longer eligible for public funds.

The council said Ramfel was warned about possible funding cuts last August and added there had been “ongoing discussions” to keep them updated about the situation.

A statement released on the council website read: “As all avenues have been exhausted, we made the decision at the end of December that we can no longer pay for this service. The decision is not a reflection on the work Ramfel provides, however the organisation hasn’t been able to provide certain financial information we need to continue making payments to them.”

It added: “We work hard to support local charities and organisations but this has to be balanced with making sure we are spending our money on the right services.”

The council said it will work with Ramfel to help rough sleepers the charity is still supporting.


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