Home Office written question – answered on 6th March 2015.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria are used for determining to which areas asylum seekers are dispersed.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

Holding answer received on 06 March 2015

The last Labour Government passed the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to

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.

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