Hotel rooms

30,000 hotel rooms in the UK are requisitioned every day by the Home Office to house asylum seekers

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 10:04 a.m.

Channel migrants arriving in England

Up to 30,000 hotel rooms across the UK are requisitioned every day by the Home Office to house asylum seekers awaiting processing.

A total of 37,000 asylum seekers are currently being accommodated in the hotel, costing the British taxpayer almost £5million a day, according to a GB News report.

With the government acknowledging the growing reliance on hotels as ‘unsustainable’, the first of some 1,500 asylum seekers are due to arrive at a former RAF base in North Yorkshire this week.

The decision, which has angered residents of the nearby village of Linton-on-Ouse, is part of a package of measures aimed at tackling the growing accommodation crisis for asylum seekers and reducing the need for expensive hotels.

The first 60 asylum seekers will be transported to the base in the coming days.

If the Home Office can make the Linton-on-Ouse facility a success, it could pave the way for other former Ministry of Defense and Government sites to be used for centers of similar accommodation in the coming months.

Head office response

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The unprecedented and unacceptable increase in dangerous small boat crossings continues to put enormous pressure on the UK’s broken asylum system.

“Under the new plan for immigration, we are reducing the current daily cost of almost £5million of using hotels to accommodate migrants with the new asylum center in Linton- on-Ouse and creating a fairer system for dispersing asylum seekers.

The Home Office also said it “will use a phased approach to develop Linton-on-Ouse, gradually increasing the number of asylum seekers accommodated at the site over the coming weeks”.

All hotels requisitioned by the Home Office are now closed to the general public, and anyone attempting to book a room is referred to the booking agent, or to the Home Office.

Headache

The question of how best to house asylum seekers across the UK is a constant and growing headache for the Home Office.

On April 13, all local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales became a default dispersal area for asylum seekers.

This will require all local authorities to make more social housing and private rental accommodation available in their areas for the asylum seeker dispersal scheme.

But the issue of integrating large groups of mostly young men into communities across the country remains contentious after several concerning incidents in recent months.

Thames Valley Police have confirmed officers are currently investigating an incident in a park in Windsor in recent days where a group of schoolgirls were allegedly approached by two young asylum seekers.

Another concern is the lack of facilities for asylum seekers in the village of Linton-on-Ouse, which has only a local shop on the high street, and no other amenities.

Responding to these concerns, the Home Office said: ‘Linton-on-Ouse is designed to be as self-contained as possible, minimizing any impact on local communities, services and the need to leave the site.

Meanwhile, the number of people arriving on small boats continues to grow at a faster rate than last year, which saw 28,526 people cross the Channel.

So far this year, despite several bad weather spells lately, almost 10,000 people have paid criminal gangs to ferry them across the English Channel in small boats.