William Eichler 15 December 2017

Councils must be ‘fully resourced’ to house refugees, open letter says

The Government must ensure local authorities are ‘fairly and fully financially resourced’ to house asylum seekers, an open letter from refugee groups says.

Over 30 organisations working with refugees yesterday called on the Home Secretary to ensure housing for people seeking protection is managed in a way that is fair, accountable and inclusive of communities.

The open letter called on Amber Rudd to provide councils with an independent oversight and accountability role in how housing for refugees is planned, procured, implemented and formally scrutinised in their areas.

It also insisted local authorities and communities that are set to receive asylum seekers should be ‘fairly and fully financially resourced in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the dispersal system’.

Finally, the letter said that before the Home Office awards any new contracts to provide asylum accommodation, they should confirm the new contracts will be independently reviewed within three years of operation.

‘A safe, secure home is a necessity for people seeking refugee protection in the UK,’ the letter reads.

‘As most people arrive here exhausted and destitute it is right, and indeed a legal obligation, that the Government provides housing to people in need as a public service.

‘However, it is essential that the task of providing accommodation to people seeking international protection is done in a way that ensures people’s needs, dignity and wellbeing are upheld and maintained.’

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