Accommodation for sanctuary seekers is a wide ranging issue and there are varying regional and local factors. 

Asylum seekers can apply for accommodation from the Home Office while they go through the asylum process. This is provided by private contractors (see the section below on 'Dispersal'). If someone is granted leave to remain, they are given 28 days to leave their asylum accommodation and find private rented accommodation or apply through mainstream housing services (see the section on 'Help for New Refugees' under Information for Sanctuary Seekers).

Reports on Housing

Home Affairs Committee report on Asylum Accommodation (Jan 2017)

Government response to the report (Nov 2017) and Refugee Council comment on the government's response

An article in the Guardian on conditions in asylum accommodation (Oct 2017)

National Audit Office report on the COMPASS contracts (2014)

An article from the Indpendent covering an issue that received some coverage at the beginning of 2016 - a sub-contractor in Middlesbrough used red paint on front doors which made the asylum-seekers living there targets for hate crime - the doors have since been repainted! (Jan 2016)

Dispersal

Asylum seekers can apply for accommodation from the Home Office. Applicants can't choose where this will be.

Some regions accommodate a lot more asylum seekers than others. You can see data about numbers of asylum seekers housed by local authorities via the Home Office's quarterly statistics release (look for the list of tables and then volume 4 in the 'Asylum' section).

This briefing from the House of Commons follows on from a debate that was held in May 2015 and provides more information about dispersal policy. 

The COMPASS contracts are between the Home Office and private accommodation providers to provide dispersal accommodation. They were awarded in 2012 for 5 years and then extended until Sep 2019.

The contracts are as follows:

  • North East and Yorkshire and Humberside - G4S
  • London and the South of England - Clearsprings
  • Midlands and East of England - G4S
  • North West - Serco
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland - Serco
  • Wales - Clearsprings
Organisations and Useful Links

The Asylum Seeker Housing (ASH) Project can help asylum seekers in Scotland to report a repair needed or make a complaint.

This document gives an outline of the response times stated in the COMPASS contracts for different types of housing issues (eg. a gas leak is considered an immediate issue which should be responded to within 2 hours of notification)

G4S

You can contact G4S to report a housing issue via their Contact Centre

Email: [email protected].g4s.com 

Tel: 0800 377 7361 or 01909 533 500

Serco and Clearsprings contact information to be updated