To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 21 October 2009, Official Report, column 1529W, on asylum: housing, what the policy is of (a) the UK Border Agency and (b) its suppliers on housing asylum seekers in vacant (i) council and (ii) housing association housing.
The UK Border Agency contracts with public and private sector organisation for the provision of accommodation for asylum seekers. It only pays for these services, on a per person per day basis, when accommodation is actually occupied and it is the responsibility of the suppliers to provide suitable accommodation. The UK Border Agency does not stipulate that vacant council housing or housing association dwelling should be used for asylum seekers. How public sector providers use their available housing stock is a matter for them.