Lords’ decision puts pressure on housing

Local authorities have warned that a House of Lords ruling giving
freedom of movement to asylum seekers after they have been granted
asylum could have a drastic effect on councils in the South

Asylum seekers are dispersed to cities across the UK when they
arrive in the country. But this does not mean they have to stay in
the cities they are dispersed to once they are granted permission
to stay, the Lords ruled.

The decision is likely to see those granted permission to stay,
many of whom arrive either at South East airports or ports, return
to London and claim assistance under homelessness legislation.

The government and Scottish executive have responded by preparing a
campaign to encourage new migrants to move to the North and

Councillor Archie Foulds, leader of Harrow Council, said the
judgement “is likely to seriously add to the existing burden of
homelessness in London”.

A Local Government Association spokesperson said the ruling “added
to the complexities of providing resources to asylum seekers for
local authorities who are already under pressure”.

– Meanwhile, the National Asylum Support Service is making “good
progress in improving performance,” since the July 2003 independent
review, according to Home Office minister Beverley Hughes.

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