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MP highlights wealthy towns failing to house asylum seekers.

Byline: Lucy Lynch Reporter

WARWICK has come under fire for failing to house a single asylum seeker recently.

Warwick is listed alongside Maidenhead and Lincoln as being among towns which are not housing people seeking asylum from war torn countries, particularly Syria.

Chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz MP said: "The dispersal system appears unfair, with whole swathes of the country never receiving a single asylum seeker.

"The majority are being moved into low cost housing in urban areas such as Glasgow, Stoke, Cardiff and of course Middlesbrough, where the ratio is one asylum seeker per 137 people.

"However, on the data we have received, local authorities in areas such as Maidenhead, Lincoln and Warwick have housed none."

At the moment just 200 of the UK's 433 local authorities have agreed to take asylum seekers.

Asylum seekers are concentrated in Midlands and northern cities with lots of empty houses.

He is calling for wealthier areas other parts of the county to take part to help spread asylum seekers evenly.

Mr Vaz was talking about a report his committee has just released criticising the government's system for supporting asylum seekers.

The report hits out at private companies contracted to run the government's asylum seeker support services.

It singles out their policies of painting house doors red and making asylum seekers wear wristbands for particular criticism.

The system for adult asylum seekers and children with their parents is that three private companies are contracted by the government to find them housing and organise any payments to cover living expenses they are entitled to. The support lasts until their application to stay is dealt with.

The Warwick area is set to accept refugees by the end of the year. Asylum seekers become refugees when their application to stay is successful.

Former church building Offa House in the Warwickshire village of Offchurch is to be converted into refugee reception centre.

The building is to be a short-term home to 35 refugees at a time.


| MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 7, 2016
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