Hotel Closures & Evictions

The Government has confirmed it is closing hotels, noting they were only a temporary measure[1]. They have stopped procuring new hotels and are working on closing existing hotels, citing the cost-saving benefits of dispersal accommodation in comparison to hotels.

The Government is moving those accommodated in hotels to other sites, with as little as 5-days’ notice, and has reaffirmed its commitment to the use of large sites as accommodation – this includes repurposed barracks and the Bibby Stockholm barge.

The Government notes that hotels are an inappropriate form of accommodation, and it recognises the strain they cause on local authorities but fails to recognise the same for barracks and barges.

Those awaiting a decision on their asylum claim are to be moved to dispersal accommodation, including acquired barracks and barges, but for those who receive a positive decision on their claim and are granted refugee status, they are required to find their own private rented accommodation.

In the second half of 2023, there was much concern over the lack of notice as individuals were provided less than 7-days’ notice of eviction from asylum accommodation. In December 2023, faith leaders from across London united to call on the Home Office to reexamine the change in practice which had reduced the usual 28-day period to 7 days[2]. The Home Office has since confirmed that the 28-day move-on period has been reinstated and that it is to start from the date the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is received.

Additionally, the joint letter also called for the move-on period to be extended to 56 days, which NGOs have also been calling for, as 28-days does not allow for Universal Credit application processing. Further, the lack of savings and income coupled with the lack of affordable accommodation and difficulty in finding move-on accommodation has resulted in high numbers of homelessness.

A recently published report[3] found a 239% increase in homelessness amongst those evicted from asylum accommodation across the UK within 2 years, with a large rise in numbers for 2023 compared to 2021.