Europe

Harsh reality of migrant hotels as asylum seekers left in ‘danger’

Suella Braverman voices concerns about migrants in hotels

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Migrants don’t receive preferential or even adequate treatment after they land in the UK, refugee campaigners have claimed. Suella Braverman has drawn outrage in recent weeks after sources suggested she ignored legal advice to secure hotel access for asylum seekers – an accusation she denies – and left detention centres in Kent overcrowded. The Home Office claims it is too expensive to house refugees in hotels, but the people who advocate on their behalf have said their experience is far from luxury.

Tim Naor Hilton, the Chief Executive of Refugee Action, presented a different picture of the hotels where migrants should only reside temporarily.

He said people stay in the accommodation for long stints, depriving them of their agency and leaving them with limited care.

Mr Hilton said: “Hotels are for holidays, they are not homes.

“People do not have agency to cook for themselves and their movements in and out of the premises are monitored.”

“They are often miles from any services they may need and have poor, unhealthy or inappropriate food.

Mr Hilton added that refugees also receive a tiny weekly budget while living in the accommodation.

He said: “If you’re stuck in a hotel, you are only given £8 a week to cover essentials such as clothing, travel, phone data and more.”

Those who are lucky enough to move away from temporary accommodation and into the community don’t fare better, Mr Hilton added.

A Home Office spokesperson said that using hotels to house asylum seekers is “unacceptable”.

They told Express.co.uk: “The number of people arriving in the UK who require accommodation has reached record levels and has put our asylum system under incredible strain.

“The use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable – there are currently more than 37,000 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £5.6million a day.

“The use of hotels is a short-term solution and we are working hard with local authorities to find appropriate accommodation.”

While hotels may not provide enough for migrant residents, Mr Hilton added that migrants who move into British neighbourhoods sometimes reckon with life-threatening property faults.

Mr Hilton said: “People who are moved into the community are regularly housed in accommodation that is dangerous.

“We support people who have had ceilings collapse on children and women put into homes with no lock on the front door.

“It’s paramount that homes are safe and properly equipped so people can live their lives in dignity while they wait for a decision on their claim.”

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