A new report shows asylum seekers’ housing is ‘dangerous’

31 January 2017

The Home Affairs Committee report looks at asylum seekers’ accommodation across the UK from the last year.

It shows living conditions in Cardiff are cramped, often with several people living in one room. In some cases, housing provided was rat-infested.

Volunteers say asylum seekers in Cardiff are living in “disgraceful” conditions.

Christine Nelms, 69, volunteers with Oasis Cardiff, a centre for asylum seekers and refugees in Splott. Ms Nelms says she collects bedding for asylum seekers and takes it to their homes. She says she regularly sees damp, mould, and leaky pipes.

“I’ve seen fire doors that are propped up against the wall instead of being fitted correctly and hazards for small children. The state of the accommodation is just so poor.”

Ms Nelms says she’s ashamed of the accommodation asylum seekers get placed in.

“It’s inhumane. It makes them ill and depressed and frustrated. They’re already going through trauma from what they’ve escaped from.”

The Home Affairs Committee are now calling for an overhaul of the system. In a statement, they say urgent action must be taken by the Home Office and contractors to deal with this issue.

“It is shameful that some very vulnerable people have been placed in such conditions.”

Moving forward, the committee say contractors should do more to address the needs of asylum seekers. In particular they say they should focus on pregnant women, those living with mental health needs, and victims of trafficking.


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