Asylum: Northern Ireland

Home Office written question – answered on 16th January 2023.

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Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions her Department has had with the Northern Ireland (a) Executive Office, (b) Department for Communities and (c) Housing Executive on sourcing accommodation for asylum seekers in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Minister for Immigration

The Home Office has a statutory obligation to provide accommodation and other support to asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute while their application for asylum is being considered.

The significant increase in dangerous journeys across the Channel is placing unprecedented strain on our asylum system and it has made it necessary to continue to use hotels to accommodate some asylum seekers. The use of hotels is a short-term solution, and we are working hard with local authorities to find appropriate accommodation.

We attend a number of forums discussing the sourcing of accommodation for asylum seekers in Northern Ireland, one of which is the Strategic Partnership Group. This is a monthly meeting at which the strategic direction of asylum and wider refugee schemes are discussed. This meeting is chaired by the Executive Office and there is also representation from the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

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