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Govt to stop housing asylum seekers in 50 hotels – but up to 400 are still being used | Politics News

The government will stop using 50 hotels for asylum seekers by January, Sky News understands.

Ministers are expected to make the announcement as they continue attempts to reduce the amount of money being spent on accommodation that houses people waiting for a decision on their applications.

But many hotels will still be in use – with reports putting this number at up to 400.

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‘We’re under so much mental pressure’

The government estimates about £8m is being spent each day on hotels for asylum seekers.

According to the House of Commons Library, a total of 47,500 people were in accommodation by the end of March – compared with 9,500 in October 2020.

The Conservatives have attributed this to the rise in small boat crossings in the Channel, and the fallout of the COVID pandemic.

Opposition parties say the Home Office’s growing backlog of unprocessed applications is to blame.

Workers return to the Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge at Portland Port in Dorset after what is believed to be a fire drill. The Home Office have said around 50 asylum seekers would board the Bibby Stockholm, with the numbers rising to its maximum capacity over the coming months, despite safety concerns being raised. Picture date: Thursday August 3, 2023.

The government has introduced a small number of alternatives to hotels in recent months, including former military bases and the Bibby Stockholm barge – the latter of which will house up to 500 male asylum seekers.

However, the rollout has not been straightforward.

Local MPs and residents have opposed these sites – and asylum seekers had to be removed from the barge following a Legionella outbreak.

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