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Asylum Hotel Exits

Volume 748: debated on Tuesday 16 April 2024

The Government are committed to implementing effective measures to address the challenges posed by irregular migration, ensure the integrity of our borders, and reduce the burden on the taxpayer.

While allowing the Home Office to fulfil its statutory obligations towards destitute asylum seekers, Ministers have worked to cut reliance on hotels by expanding and driving efficiencies in the asylum accommodation estate. We have maximised the utilisation of bed spaces in the existing asylum estate, which has resulted in 72 fewer hotels being opened in 2023 than otherwise would have been required, and we are committed to going further to end our reliance on hotels.

We have undertaken work across Government to secure alternative sites that provide sustainable and cost-effective accommodation to house asylum seekers, with further sites in development. In addition, we continue with the implementation of the regional allocation plans for dispersed accommodation, which will further relieve pressure on communities through equitable dispersal.

The Prime Minister’s commitment to clearing the legacy asylum backlog has been met, further reducing the need to use hotels. By streamlining processes and increasing efficiency, over 74,000 initial decisions were made on asylum applications in 2023, which is four times more than in 2022.

We now have 20,000 fewer asylum seekers accommodated in hotels than in September 2023—a reduction of 36%.

This week we will have returned 50 hotels to their communities for commercial use since the start of March 2024, and since October last year will have ended the use of 150 hotels by the beginning of May.

In conclusion, the Government’s commitment to reducing hotel use for asylum seekers reflects our broader efforts to stop the boats, cut irregular migration, strengthen border security, and relieve pressure on local communities.