Asylum: Temporary Accommodation

Home Office written question – answered on 4th March 2021.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Chair, Work and Pensions Committee, Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what notification her Department provides to a local authority of the placement of Section 95 asylum seekers in dispersal accommodation in its area; in what circumstances such notification is provided; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Home Office and Property providers have developed close working relationships with the Local Authorities in which asylum seekers are accommodated to support the effective coordination of delivered services, acting in the best interests of the asylum seekers.

The Home Office will consider individual requests for specific accommodation or location on a case by case basis. The provider is instructed by the Home Office to provide accommodation that meets the needs of each individual case subject to the availability of accommodation.

We do not provide Local authorities with details of each individual placement of asylum seekers into their area. However, we do provide statistical data on the number of people living in each local authority area and the number of new arrivals to the Strategic Migration Partners who are expected to share this with Local Authorities. Where there is a safe guarding or urgent care need referrals are made to the local authorities to coordinate appropriate services for the individual.

Furthermore, our providers are instructed to consult Local Authorities when procuring dispersed property. A standard operating process for procurement allows for consultation with LAs and statutory bodies.

We have established the Local Government Chief Executive Group (HOLGCEX) group to bring together senior representatives from Home Office, Local Government Association and local authorities with the aim of working in partnership to improve the asylum dispersal process for the people who use this service and the communities in which they reside.

We are trying to implement national structures across 150 LAs who will have a localised view and their own processes and practice. To allow us to better engage, we fund Strategic Migration Partners within each UK region to enhance engagement.

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