EXCLUSIVE: Migrants being housed in hotel deemed as not suitable for homeless people
MIGRANTS are being housed in a hotel deemed not suitable for homeless people.
Families have been seen kicking footballs around the car park of the hotel in an isolated location off a main road because there is nothing else to do there.
The hotel is next to a golf club and expensive farm shop.
Redbridge Council was using the Phoenix Hotel off the A414, near North Weald in Essex, as emergency homeless accommodation, but pulled the plug amid claims it was not suitable.
A council source said: "We served notice under the break the contract in December 2021 to end the agreement last June. The reasons were that the accommodation is quite remote.
"There is little public transport, and it is far from shops other than expensive farm shops, so it was not considered a good place for our homeless households to live."
It has since been filled with migrants under a Home Office contractor contract, drawing criticism from refugee charities groups.
Tim Naor Hilton, Chief Executive of Refugee Action, said: “The use of former hotels to house people seeking asylum creates misery for residents who are forced to live in terrible conditions while the Government’s private contractors make eye-watering profits.
“The scandal of holding thousands of people in hotels has been caused by ministers recklessly wasting money on hostility rather than taking action to fix the problems in the asylum system, such as slow decision making."
Tamsin Baxter, Executive Director of External Affairs at the Refugee Council: added: "We have long raised concerns about people seeking asylum being placed in inappropriate hotels for months and years on end, with limited access to the vital services and support they need to rebuild their lives. It is deeply concerning to hear that men, women and children who have fled war, persecution and violence are now housed in hotels that have already been deemed unsuitable for other families in need of help and support."
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "The Home Office does not comment on commercial arrangements for individual sites used for asylum accommodation.
"We continue to ensure the accommodation provided is safe, secure, leaves no one destitute and is appropriate for an individual’s needs."