Hundreds of asylum seekers are stuck in Croydon hotels with cockroaches and Covid outbreaks

More than 900 asylum seekers are still stuck in hotels in Croydon, with some living around cockroaches and dealing with outbreaks of Covid-19. The Home Office has placed hundreds of people in five hotels in Croydon.

They are awaiting the outcome of their asylum claims in temporary accommodation and some have been living in a hotel in Croydon since September 2021. Now Croydon Council is asking for more government financial support to support asylum seekers in the town. He estimates it could cost at least £500,000 to care for 900 people for six months.

And he said he spent £21,000 from September to November 2021 to help asylum seekers. This includes securing school places for children and carrying out hygiene inspections in hotels.

A new report from the council claims the authority has been left behind without ‘any additional funding provided to local authorities as a result of these unplanned and unannounced placements by the Home Office’. Croydon has long advocated for more funding to care for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) who end up in the borough via Lunar House in the town centre, which is the Department for Health’s registry office. ‘Interior.

READ MORE:Asylum seeker stuck in Croydon hotel with hundreds of refugees says it’s ‘really hard to survive’

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Now the council is taking care of more children who are placed in hotels by the Home Office as adults, but are then taken into the care of the council if their age is disputed while legal proceedings are completed.

Earlier this month, council leader Hamida Ali wrote to the Home Secretary asking the government to review the impact of having five hotels for asylum seekers in Croydon. In the letter, she asked if hotels could be spread more evenly across London.

The report says: “The letter also highlights that the current distribution has a disproportionate impact on Croydon, particularly when taken into account with the equally disproportionate number of unaccompanied child and young asylum seekers being looked after. by the council.”

A UASC shortfall of £2.9m is expected in 2022/23. The council received a one-time grant of £2.3million in August 2021, but the council still expects a shortfall of almost £1million this financial year. Data from December 22, 2021 showed that 688 were male and 252 were female. Among them were 209 children, 66 of whom were under the age of five.

The report also noted ‘significant concerns’ with the hotels, including food hygiene issues and infestations ‘which led the council’s environmental health team to make a number of visits to inspect the premises – most recently about an ongoing cockroach infestation in a hotel,” he said. .

The report adds that there was a ‘long-running Covid outbreak’ at a hotel which began on December 17 and led to an emergency meeting, with the council’s director of public health, convened on December 28. January. The council is also responsible for placing children living in hotels in local schools. At the end of January, more than 90 children were offered a place at school in Croydon of which 80 had started.

But he said that does not mean they are able to attend as families still have to find money to get to school, sort out free school meals and make sure children have appropriate clothing.

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Croydon Council’s support of asylum seekers and refugees has been and remains very welcome and we continue to engage with them on plans to house asylum seekers. ‘asylum. All asylum seekers accommodated in hotels receive fully furnished accommodation, including a choice of three meals per day, snacks and access to drinking water, as well as support for their basic toiletries and utility costs. The Nationality and Borders Bill will bring the most comprehensive reform in decades to fix the broken asylum system.

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