Asylum seekers moved from ‘region to region’ despite government rules
Refugees suffer as homes run out
Asylum seekers are being moved from region to region - in contravention of government guidance - because providers are running out of homes.
Many asylum seekers also face destitution because of the accommodation shortage, Refugee Action, a charity with access to Home Office statistics on the rehousing of asylum seekers, has claimed.
Those affected require section 4 support to help with housing. This is provided to failed asylum seekers who are unable to return to their country of origin. There ‘is no guarantee that an asylum seeker who is deemed eligible for section 4 support will be accommodated immediately’, a spokesperson for Refugee Action said.
Nigel Rose, Manchester-area manager for the charity, said: ‘We see people every day who are not being provided with shelter due to delays in the system and a lack of designated section 4 accommodation locally.’
Because of the shortages people are being offered accommodation outside of the region they live in, which is against the government guidelines.
In December 2007 the Home Office agreed to change its policy to ensure ‘accommodation was offered in the region where [asylum seekers] were previously in receipt of support’.
Charity Asylum Support Immigration Resource Team is planning to raise the issue with the UK Border Agency this week. Project manager Dave Stamp said ‘as many as 50 people’ had been assigned to an accommodation provider that did not have the capacity to accommodate them.
A spokesperson for the UKBA said it had entered into contracts with private and public sector providers with contracts awarded until 2011 on a regional basis.
Each region was allocated a share of the ‘intake and each provider contracted to accommodate a specific percentage of that share,’ he said.
Asylum: the support stats
Number of asylum seekers receiving section 4 support (third quarter of 2008/09)
Number of asylum seekers granted section 4 support (third quarter of 2008/09