In its report on Asylum accommodation the Home Affairs Committee say the Home Office needs to show greater urgency about the degrading conditions in which vulnerable people are being housed, including torture survivors, individuals suffering from PTSD, pregnant women and mothers with small children.
The Committee recommends the transfer of inspection duties currently carried out by the Home Office to local authorities, including the ability to impose sanctions.
Nearly two years after the Home Affairs Committee’s previous report on asylum accommodation, very little has improved and mistrust by local authorities of central government has deepened.
The Committee warns of significant risks to asylum accommodation provision if the Government doesn’t urgently engage with local authorities who are considering withdrawing from the dispersal scheme due to the Government’s handling of the replacement for the current contract.
As the Government prepares to finalise the tender of asylum accommodation contracts, worth £4 billion over 10 years, it must quickly do more to support local authorities carrying a disproportionate share of responsibilities, and to improve take-up in other areas of the country.
The report expresses concern about the Home Office’s failure to respond to the Committee’s previous recommendations, and the deepening systemic mistrust affecting engagement between the Home Office, the ICIBI and NGOs in the asylum accommodation process.