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Home Office has no duty to provide ‘longer term’ accommodation


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The High Court confirms that there is no duty to provide longer term or different accommodation when the Home Office moves asylum seekers from section 98 accommodation. The case is DSM v Secretary of State for the Home Department (anonymity order), case number CO/4276/2022.

DSM said she had been in initial temporary accommodation since December 2021, and continued to be held there after August 2022, when her section 95 application was granted. The judge stated:

“There is, however, no legal requirement under IAA 1999 ss 95 or 98 to provide “longer term” accommodation, nor any legal obligation to provide different accommodation when support ceases to be provided pursuant to s 98 and is provided instead pursuant to s 95. The Defendant’s obligation is to provide “adequate” accommodation (see s 95(3)(a) which defines an individual as “destitute”, and thus entitled to s 95 support, as those without “adequate accommodation”). If the accommodation provided by the Defendant is “adequate” she is acting lawfully whether or not the accommodation is considered to be “long term” and whether or not it is different to accommodation previously provided under s 98. That is so pursuant to the relevant statute, the Defendant’s Guidance and any obligation to act reasonably. The Claimant must therefore establish that the present accommodation is inadequate to succeed in her claim.”

Permission to apply for judicial review was refused as the judge did not consider that DSM established that the accommodation provided was arguably not adequate. She argued instead that the accommodation was “not suitable” because of the food provided and the lack of provisions to cook herself in the alternative. As complaint mechanisms were in place to deal with issues such as food, which had not been utilised, judicial review was not the appropriate avenue to deal with the issue, at least in first instance.

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