Hotel closures have a direct impact on councils and local government wants to play an active role in working with government on the decisions on which hotels to close.
Responding to the immigration minister Robert Jenrick’s announcement that fifty hotels will be closed to asylum seekers by January, Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association said:
“Councils have a proud history of supporting humanitarian efforts and continue to work hard to protect and support refugees and help deliver a wide range of government asylum and resettlement schemes. Councils share the government’s ambitions to end hotel use for asylum seekers.
“Hotel closures have a direct impact on councils and local government wants to play an active role in working with government on the decisions on which hotels to close. We also need advance engagement on what other alternatives, including large sites, will be opened up both for those leaving hotels and for ongoing new arrivals.
“Combined pressures from these many schemes are growing on councils and there continues to be an issue across the refugee and asylum system. We need a joined-up approach across central and local government to the cumulative pressures on local services from all asylum and resettlement programmes. This needs to include urgent solutions to our pressing housing needs in the short and the long term across all the schemes that welcome new arrivals to the UK.
“Councils are also becoming increasingly concerned over the numbers of asylum seekers presenting as homeless which is likely to dramatically increase when Home Office accommodation is withdrawn as a result of the current clearance of the asylum backlog. Given increased demand and the acute shortage of housing available across the country, it will make it extremely challenging for those leaving accommodation to find affordable, long-term accommodation and there needs to be a joint and funded approach nationally, regionally and locally to manage the move on from asylum accommodation and avoid risks of destitution and street homelessness throughout the winter.”