To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to improve living conditions at asylum seeker processing and detainment sites.
15 January 2021
We expect the highest standards from our providers and the accommodation provided must be safe, habitable, fit for purpose and is required to comply with the Decent Homes Standard, in addition to standards outlined in relevant national or local housing legislation.
The asylum seekers being accommodated are not being held under detention powers and they will not be prevented from leaving. Asylum seekers are free to find accommodation through friends or relatives and may be provided with the allowance alone if deemed to be financially destitute.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the asylum system has faced significant pressures and it has become necessary to use additional temporary accommodation to ensure the Home Office can continue to meet all of its statutory obligations.
Following a review of available government property, the MoD permitted the Home Office temporary use of Napier Barracks in Kent and the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire, which have been in operation for almost four months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.