WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
July 14 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Basic housing protections set to be removed from asylum seekers in government attempt to minimize hotel use

Basic housing protections set to be removed from asylum seekers in government attempt to minimize hotel use

Asylum seekers are set to lose basic housing protections under new government plans being put forward by Suella Braverman, the home secretary and Michael Gove, the housing secretary.

 

An amendment to section 254 of the Housing Act 2004 would mean landlords of asylum seekers in England and Wales would not be required to register with local authorities or obtain a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence. The standard HMO licencing requirements regulate issues ranging from requiring working smoke alarms to setting a minimum bedroom size, without which, the standard of living for asylum seekers is likely to be compromised.

 

This measure comes as a government attempt to reduce the number of people temporarily housed in hotels, with ministers set to vote on the plans this week. The hope is that the removal of landlord regulations will accelerate the move of asylum seekers away from hotels and into the private rented sector.

 

Kiran Stacey of The Guardian reported that ‘backlogs in the asylum processing system have led to more than 50,000 asylum seekers being house in hotels across the country, at a cost of £6m a day’, a staggering figure which has created pressure for action.

 

The government’s plans have already been criticised by many, who have raised concerns about the potential inadequacy of living conditions for asylum seekers, which will exist with the removal of a HMO licence requirement.

 

Former Home Office worker Nicola Kelly warned that ‘no licence, no electrical checks’ and ‘no minimum room size requirements will lead to ‘more cramped, squalid conditions without accountability’.

 

Whilst other comments from members of the public on social media have described the policy as ‘chilling’ and ‘terrifying’.

 

 

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