Number of asylum seekers receiving support in Solihull soars

The number of asylum seekers receiving support in Solihull has soared in the last year following a rapid rise in people applying to become refugees in the UK, new figures show.

The number of asylum seekers receiving support in Solihull has soared in the last year following a rapid rise in people applying to become refugees in the UK, new figures show.

Refugee charities said they are deeply concerned with the "growing number of people living in limbo", waiting for a decision on their asylum claim and urged the Home Office to address the backlog of applications and provide greater financial support for those awaiting decisions.

Home Office figures show 229 asylum seekers received support from local authorities in Solihull at the end of June – up from two the year before.

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    ​All of these​ were in receipt of Section 95 support, which is the provision of subsistence and accommodation if needed while waiting for a decision on their asylum application.

    Asylum applications can take years, meaning support is provided for extended periods in some cases.

    Across the UK, 116,100 asylum seekers received support at the end of June this year – almost double the 62,900 in support at the same time last year.

    This included 77,400 people receiving Section 95 support and 5,400 receiving Section 4 support, which means they had an asylum application rejected but are destitute and are temporarily unable to leave the UK.

    A further 33,400 people were given temporary accommodation to prevent them from destitution as they await a verdict on their application for more long-term care.

    Enver Solomon, chief executive at the Refugee Council, said asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their application are extremely vulnerable as they are banned from working and must live on less than £6 per day.

    "It is a major failing of this Government that our asylum system doesn’t work more efficiently and humanely to prevent this from happening," Mr Solomon said.

    "Instead of seeking to expel men, women and children to Rwanda, the Government should focus on creating a fair, humane and orderly asylum system that speeds up decision making, grants protection for those that need it, and enables those whose applications are denied to return safely, and with dignity, to the country that they came from."

    The Home Office said...

    Praxis urged the Government to increase the weekly £40.85 stipend asylum seekers are given to live on, lift the ban on their right to work, and clear the backlog of applications, which it said was worsened by the Nationality and Borders Act passed earlier this year.

    "Locking thousands of people who are highly likely to be ultimately recognised as refugees into deep poverty in this way is cruel," said Josephine Whitaker-Yilmaz, policy and public affairs manager at the charity.

    The Home Office said...