The Government’s push to clear the asylum backlog is putting ‘tens of thousands’ of refugees at risk of homelessness over Christmas, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.
The Home Office has forecast that 90,000 asylum application decisions will be made before the end of the year.
The LGA said large numbers of people are already turning to councils for support, and are often not given enough notice that they need to leave Home Office accommodation.
Local authorities are also not receiving timely information about how many people will be leaving asylum accommodation, the association said.
LGA chair Shaun Davies said: ‘Councils work incredibly hard to support asylum and resettlement but are facing a perfect storm in the run up to Christmas which could see tens of thousands of refugees having to sleep rough.
‘Demand for temporary accommodation is already at an all-time high with councils struggling to source suitable accommodation and cater for current needs.
‘Pushing tens of thousands of refugees out of Home Office accommodation onto councils will overload the system and mean they simply cannot provide for these vulnerable people’s needs.’
The LGA has pressed the Government for urgent funding, information about how many people will need support, and for people to be given the full 28 days’ notice before they have to leave asylum accommodation.