Interior Ministry contract to accommodate asylum seekers at Hull hotel extended until “at least end of June”
The Home Office has extended its contract to accommodate asylum seekers in a hotel in downtown Hull until at least the end of June.
The Royal Hotel Hull has been booked exclusively since August 2020 and recently canceled early summer event bookings on the site, citing the extension of the exclusive contract. In January, Hull City Council leader Daren Hale expressed his dissatisfaction with the advice and resources provided by the Home Office as a second Hull hotel was booked to house asylum seekers. asylum while their applications are being processed.
A Home Office spokesperson would not confirm whether the contract with the second hotel had also been extended in recent weeks, but reiterated that the Home Office “continues to engage” with the council on the local accommodation projects for asylum seekers.
Read more: Second Hull hotel to be used to house asylum seekers as council warns it is struggling to cope
The Royal Hotel reportedly had a meeting in mid-February to determine whether future bookings of the venue could be filled.
Subsequent cancellations by the hotel of weddings scheduled for late May and June cited the contract for hosting asylum seekers extended to the end of June. It was also stated in at least one cancellation email that there was “a very high probability” that the contract would be further extended until the fall of 2022.
Social care and housing provider Mears is contracted to house asylum seekers in Hull on behalf of the Home Office.
Asked about the communication the Home Office had with the council and whether the contract with the second hotel accommodating asylum seekers in Hull had also been extended, a Home Office spokesman said: “We are facing an unprecedented increase in asylum applications, but despite this we continue to ensure that the accommodation provided is safe, secure and does not leave anyone destitute.
“Hull City Council’s support of asylum seekers and refugees has been and remains very welcome and we continue to engage with them on plans to house asylum seekers. We are pleased that our contractors are meeting their obligations to provide adequate accommodation.
“The Nationality and Borders Bill will bring about the most comprehensive reform in decades to fix the broken asylum system. It will make the system fairer and more efficient so that we can better protect and support those who genuinely need asylum.”
The spokesman also said the Home Office has met with council officials numerous times over the past few years to discuss their concerns and has pledged to put in place a plan to create greater equality between the number of asylum seekers taken care of in local authorities at the national level.
All properties let by Mears for the accommodation of asylum seekers are submitted to the local authority for comment before being purchased. Asylum seekers have access to a 24/7 AIRE (Advice, Reporting and Eligibility) service provided by Migrant Help for the Home Office. This allows asylum seekers to raise concerns about accommodation or support services and to obtain information on how to obtain further support.
About 500 asylum seekers were housed in Hull in January. Following the Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine, Hull City Council leader Daren Hale wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel to offer ‘any practical support’ the council can provide to help deal with the refugee crisis created as a result of the war. As of March 27, more than 3.8 million people had fled Ukraine since the start of the war.