5,000 Asylum Seekers Arrive In West Midlands

More than 5,000 asylum seekers reach the West Midlands and receive financial and housing support under the Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act, 1999.

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In the first three months of the year, more than 5,000 asylum seekers receiving financial support reached the West Midlands.

Only the north-west established more asylum seekers out of the UK total of 35,683 candidates and their dependent relatives who registered for help by the end of March.

The applicants are being placed across the country under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act,1999, through which asylum seekers are able to apply for accommodation and/or monetary help for necessary living costs while their application is decided.

Analysis of official data presented wide regional disparities in the dispersal of asylum seekers receiving Section 95 support as at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

The North West received 8,680 applicants followed by the West Midlands, then Yorkshire and the Humber (4,492), Scotland (3,214) and the North East (3,201).

London had 2,657, whilst the South East had the lowest number, with 504.

There were 184 local authority regions with not one within their boundaries.

Earlier this year the Commons Home Affairs Committee said: “ministers must call on more areas to house asylum seekers as the West Midlands faces unprecedented demand for accommodation.”

Under the dispersal policy, accommodation is provided to asylum seekers by private providers contracted to be responsible for the services on behalf of the Home Office.

However, contribution in the scheme is voluntary for councils.

Overall, the number of people receiving Section 95 provision at the end of March was 17 per cent greater than at the same time in 2015, when the number was at 30,476.

A Home Office report issued alongside the figures said that: “although the number has risen since 2012, it is considerably below that for the end of 2003, when there were 80,123 asylum seekers in receipt of Section 95 support.”

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