A Westminster Hall Debate on the Asylum Accommodation Contracts will be held 2.30-4.00pm on Wednesday 10th October, secured by Alex Cunningham MP, Stockton North.
Resources for MPs taking part:
Asylum Matters and Scottish Refugee Council joint briefing
Letter from Home Affairs Select Committee Chair to Home Secretary
Briefings from partner organisations
In a matter of weeks, the Government will sign contracts determining asylum accommodation for the next 10 years. These do not appear to have significantly addressed protracted and persistent issues present under the current COMPASS contracts, despite recommendations from Parliament and key stakeholders.
The re-design of the contracts presents the opportunity to ensure the long term sustainability of the asylum dispersal system, by committing resources to enable successful integration outcomes for all refugees, regardless of how they arrived in the UK, as well to support the communities who receive them, and by empowering devolved Governments and Local Authorities to oversee the delivery of the contracts and determine where accommodation is procured. This is also a clear opportunity to officially end the damaging practice of forced bedroom sharing and ensure that accommodation provision truly meets the needs of all asylum seekers, including vulnerable groups.
Towns and cities up and down the country are proud to be places of welcome to those seeking safety from persecution. Yet failure to address the concerns of Local Authorities has led to some dispersal areas publicly threatening to pull out of dispersal. Meanwhile, many others in England, Scotland and Wales have appealed to the Home Secretary and Minister for Immigration to intervene.
We hope those attending will call on the Minister for Immigration to commit to addressing the serious concerns raised about the suitability of asylum accommodation provision and sustainability of asylum dispersal and present recommendations outlined in our above briefing.