New parliamentary report strengthens the case for #CommunitiesNotCamps

The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have today published a report that challenges the Home Office over the lasting harm and financial cost of ‘institutional’ asylum accommodation including large-scale sites and hotels and hostels. Its findings, Asylum Matters believes, further demonstrate the need for people seeking asylum to be housed in communities, not camps.

The PAC report states that the Home Office “made unacceptable and avoidable mistakes” in its rush to establish large-scale accommodation sites such as RAF Wethersfield and RAF Scampton and “failed to protect value for money”, with costs spiralling to £46m at the former and £27m at the latter after the Home Office forecast they would only cost £5m each to set up.

The PAC was also “not convinced the Home Office has put in place sufficient measures to safeguard those pending relocation” (those deemed inadmissible for asylum by the Illegal Migration Act), highlighting that tens of thousands of people are stuck “in limbo… in temporary Home Office accommodation, where there have been numerous reports of self-harm and suicide” and “reports of significant safety failures on sites” including hotels and hostels.

The PAC also expressed concerns that “the Home Office has not engaged effectively with local authorities about the impact its work is having on local areas” and urged the Home Office to set out what it will do to better understand the “impact its asylum policies are having in local areas”.

This report is the latest addition to a growing body of evidence that shows how damaging institutional accommodation – including overcrowded hotels, hostels and prison-like camps on barracks and barges – is to the welfare of people placed within them and to our wider communities.

Asylum Matters believes this PAC report further demonstrates the cost of cruelty with regards to the Home Office’s approach to housing people seeking safety, and strengthens the case to house people in communities, not camps. 

The Home Office should be focussing on providing resources and tools to communities to house people seeking asylum in safe and dignified accommodation, rather than wasting public money on punitive, segregated sites which restrict people’s basic human rights, and create clear targets for far-right activity which damages community cohesion and inflames local tensions.

If you also believe that people seeking safety should be housed in communities, not camps, share these graphics on social media with the hashtag #CommunitiesNotCamps or print these materials for your Refugee Week events.

Scroll to top