Thank you for contacting me about accommodation for asylum seekers.
I understand your concerns on this important issue. This is a complex area and I hope I can provide some further information in this response to help explain the current situation.
I believe that it is right that the UK has safe and legal routes to help the world’s most vulnerable people, many coming from simply unimaginably dangerous places. As part of this, an asylum seeker who would otherwise be destitute is able to obtain support from the time they arrive in the UK, until their claim is fully determined and they have exhausted their appeal rights. In addition, failed asylum seekers receive support who would otherwise be destitute and are unable to leave the UK for reasons beyond their control.
These are unprecedented times and I know Ministers are working with a number of partners and across departments to ensure accommodation for asylum seekers can be secured. I understand you feel concerned by the situation, and about certain places where asylum seekers are being put into accommodation. However, I believe it is important to remember that these are vulnerable asylum seekers who without help would otherwise be destitute.
The provision of suitable accommodation is for the period while their claims are being processed. These sites will not act as holding sites for those awaiting removal from UK. I have been assured by my colleagues in Government that when contingency accommodation is used, Ministers work closely with a range of organisations, including local authorities, to ensure value for money. Indeed, I understand that the use of alternative sites represents a saving for the taxpayer of 50 per cent.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me, and I will continue to monitor developments in relation to this topic closely.
Sally-Ann Hart MP