Exclusive: Manchester Council and Home Office in dispute over asylum seekers

Manchester Council and the Home Office are in disagreement over
negotiations on the fate of properties reserved for asylum seekers
that are lying empty, writes Amy

The council says it accepted a Home Office suggestion that it
use the properties for a different client group in September 2004,
but has heard nothing since from the government department despite
making several inquiries.

However, the Home Office says it failed to reach agreement with
the council over how the properties should be used, though it
“remains interested” in talking to the council.

The authority’s contract with the National Asylum Support
Service to provide housing for asylum seekers is due to expire in
November this year, but some of the homes are empty because of a
sharp decline in asylum applications.

The council said it wanted to use up to 25 properties for other
groups. It would no longer receive money from NASS for this

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