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LGA APPEALS FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO WORK TOGETHER ON ASYLUM SEEKERS

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The LGA is to remind South East local authorities they should avoid placing asylum seekers with private landlords o...
The LGA is to remind South East local authorities they should avoid placing asylum seekers with private landlords outside their area without informing the individual receiving authority and regional consortia.

Local authorities at the LGA's annual housing conference in Newcastle on Friday voiced concerns private arrangements are still continuing despite the organised dispersal scheme currently co-ordinated by the LGA.

John Ransford, the LGA's head of social affairs, who led an asylum seekers workshop with delegates said: 'These private arrangements are against LGA guidelines and should not be required now that we have the organised dispersal scheme which can deal with the situation in a properly co-ordinated way.

We understand the pressure that is on London and the surrounding authorities to deal with the problem of housing people, but we would urge them to use the proper channels so that appropriate facilities can be provided in local communities.

'This is crucial considering when the statutory home office scheme comes into force on April 1 the authority where the asylum seeker is living becomes the responsible authority.

'I would appeal to any authority that has problems with uncatered for placements to private landlords to contact the LGA and we will do our best to assist. Some homes earmarked for the current dispersal scheme are sitting empty, so it is not a question of accommodation availability.

'The LGA will be writing to London boroughs and surrounding authorities to remind them it is important to use the official dispersal scheme.'

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