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Asylum: Housing

Question for Home Office

UIN HL899, tabled on 13 June 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendation by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that they should set minimum standards for asylum accommodation for pregnant woman and their babies.

Answered on

27 June 2022

Our Asylum Accommodation and Support Contracts (AASC) govern the relationship between the Home Office and the three companies contracted to provide asylum accommodation. They contain a detailed list of requirements for accommodation, including initial accommodation, dispersed accommodation and required accommodation standards. These requirements all meet or exceed the Government’s Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector.

In contracting with our accommodation providers, we are ensuring that pregnant women are dispersed into accommodation suitable for both the mother and the baby, both before and after birth. This is in line with our existing published guidance on healthcare needs and pregnancy dispersal.

Accommodation provider performance in relation to accommodation standards is monitored on a regular basis and we have tight timescales in which accommodation providers must resolve issues within our accommodation.

Detailed specifications on the services which have to be provided are set out in a published Statement of Requirements for the contracts.

Additionally, the Home Office meets regularly with health colleagues, including a Maternal Health Sub Group, with relevant clinicians, to discuss further improvements to the asylum support system for women with maternal health needs.

Answered by

Home Office