Home Office written question – answered on 25th November 2022.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of signing contracts to use hotels to house asylum seekers on the existing residents of those hotels.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has had discussions with representatives from York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on hotel rooms used by NHS staff before signing contracts to use hotels in York for asylum seekers.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any NHS staff have been displaced due to the use of hotel rooms in York as temporary accommodation asylum seekers.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of using of hotels used by York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff as temporary accommodation for people seeking asylum on community tensions.
The record numbers of individuals illegally crossing the Channel has impacted not only our ability to find suitable accommodation for people as quickly as is necessary to meet our statutory need, but also our engagement with MPs and Local Authorities.
As advised in my letter to MPs issued on 18th November we have taken immediate steps to rectify this and improve levels of engagement with key stakeholders around required hotel accommodation sites, to ensure colleagues are kept updated and better informed and to ensure we understand and act on any concerns appropriately and swiftly. These performance standards will be reviewed regularly and, wherever possible, service levels will be progressively raised. We also continue to work closely with local authorities on full asylum dispersal to ensure fairer distribution across the UK.
Using hotels to accommodate asylum seekers is not a long-term solution. Central to our focus is the impact on local communities, including access to public services, community cohesion and public order; delivering value for money for the taxpayer; and reducing pull factors to enter the UK illegally. It is against these criteria that we will consider further contingency accommodation options.
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