alleviate the pressure on local authorities in London and the South East of
England where most asylum seekers made their asylum claims.
The effect of the 1999 Act was to pass the support responsibility to the Home
Office. Regional dispersal policy established by the then Home Secretary in
2000 provides that, as a general rule, asylum seekers should be accommodated in
areas where there is a greater supply of suitable and cheaper accommodation.
Asylum seekers who need accommodation are housed across the UK
according to an agreed ratio, based on various regional factors. The Home
Office has voluntary agreements with 95 local authorities throughout the United
Kingdom in accepting the dispersal of asylum seekers. As part of the regional
dispersal policy established in 2000 an advisory cluster limit was set by the
Home Office at 1 asylum seeker for every 200 of the settled population.