Asylum: Housing

(asked on 23rd March 2023) - View Source

Question to the Home Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what regulatory oversight is in place to ensure Clearsprings Ready Homes accommodation complies with its contractual obligations for the health and safety of the asylum seekers they house.

This question was answered on 4th April 2023

It would be inappropriate to comment on commercial arrangements with suppliers. All Home Office commercial contracts are designed to ensure the best value for tax payers and the Home Office closely monitors its contractors performance, including financial results. Any profits above the agreed contractual margins comes back to the Home Office.

The safety and wellbeing of asylum seekers in our care is of paramount importance to the Home Office. Accommodation for supported asylum seekers is arranged by private sector providers through contractual arrangements with the Home Office. We expect high standards from all our providers across all of the services they are contractually obligated to provide and performance against delivery is managed robustly. The Statement of Requirements for what is to be delivered and to what standard is available for the Asylum Accommodation Support Contracts is widely available in the public domain. The Statement of Requirements provides specific details on providers obligations to adhere to legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010 as well as duties imposed on them by section 55 of the Border, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, and the children’s duty, to safeguard children from harm and promote their welfare.

The provision of healthcare for asylum-seekers is the statutory responsibility of the Department of Health and Social Care. However, there is funding available for local NHS Systems through Integrated Care Boards to assist with delivering health assessments to asylum seekers in contingency accommodation. Asylum Accommodation Providers signpost the people they accommodate to register with local GP Practices to access healthcare and work closely with local health teams to ensure that signposting is clear and those who want to register are able to do so. All supported asylum-seekers are given an induction briefing when they arrive at initial or dispersal accommodation. Performance against this is captured in Key Performance Indicators and reported on via Monthly and Quarterly reporting. In the event that people are not given appropriate induction briefings and this is reported via the AIRE service, the Home Office will take action. We expect high standards from all of our providers, and we have a robust governance framework in place to manage service delivery of the Asylum Accommodation Support Contracts (AASC). Details of the AASC can be found. Alongside this, asylum seekers have access to a 24/7 AIRE (Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility) service provided for the Home Office by Migrant Help where they can raise any concerns regarding accommodation or support services, and they can get information on how to obtain further support.

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