Written evidence submitted Tees Valley of Sanctuary

Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees

Asylum accommodation and support transformation programme


I am writing as the Housing Stream convenor for Tees Valley of Sanctuary


Thank you for your report which reflects very well the situation with asylum accommodation.

I have just 3 brief points.

  1. The huge delays in calls being answered by Migrant Help in the first few months of operation under the AIRE contract, in 2019.

Taking the input of the voluntary sector seriously would have avoided the gross underestimate of demand.

  1. The report talks of the 28% increase in cost of the provision of accommodation.  This is a lot, but the improvement in provision increased dramatically with the new contract.  The decrease in work for the voluntary sector on housing issues dropped by much more than 28%.  Standards were very much improved to meet what was required.


  1. Whilst it seems sensible to spread accommodation around the country, we have severe doubts on this idea.



It takes a long time to have built up the infrastructure and experience to provide essential support.  With less numbers in some places, it is not going to happened for less numbers of asylum seekers that are more widely dispersed.


October 2020