Response to Home Office consultation on asylum dispersal
Providing the right support that people need while waiting for a decision on their application should be a core part of a compassionate and fair asylum system. Asylum accommodation should be welcoming and safe; embedded in communities; with access to NHS healthcare and legal advice and support services. In response to this consultation, we outline what needs to be considered when deciding where to 'disperse' people seeking asylum to, and urge the Home Office to put together a set of minimum standards for dispersal areas to be used as an ongoing reference tool to ensure they those moved to new areas are able to access the services and accommodation they need.
A new asylum dispersal system must provide people seeking asylum with safe, suitable accommodation with the resources to support them. Everyone in asylum dispersal should have access to accommodation in which their privacy and independence can be respected, with no requirement to share a bedroom with an unrelated adult. They should have access to cash financial support and the facilities to cater for themselves.
The availability of the following services near to the accommodation must be a key consideration of any new scheme:
- Access to NHS healthcare
- Access to quality legal advice and representation for their asylum claim, including face to face advice
- Access to opportunities to learn English
- Accessible location
- Access to other practical and emotional support and advice services