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Wolverhampton Council says no to more asylum seekers

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Asylum seekers will no longer be given council houses in Wolverhampton, to free up homes for city families it was announced this afternoon.

Asylum seekers will no longer be given council houses in Wolverhampton, to free up homes for city families it was announced this afternoon.

Bosses at Wolverhampton City Council said they would rather use 124 homes currently occupied by asylum seekers to cut their housing waiting list.

The council will not renew a contract with the UK Border Agency to provide homes when it expires next June.

Asylum seekers currently being housed under the agreement will have to find new homes elsewhere.

The move will help tackle Wolverhampton's council housing waiting list, which stands at 13,405.

It is nearly double the figure of July 2009 when the number of people wanting a council house stood at 7,609.

Councillor Les Pugh said: "We aim to pull out of the contract on June 30 after five years. This has been a difficult decision to make, but one that is in the interests of local people on our housing waiting list.

"We will continue to provide up to 124 homes for asylum seekers until June 2011 and in the meantime, will work with the agency to help find alternative services to take over following the end of our contract."

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Most asylum seekers in the city are housed in the Heath Town area. Those with medical conditions which require them to be treated in the city are expected to be allowed to stay on.

Wolverhampton Homes, which manages council properties, receives on average 800 applications per month for council housing.

Gail Adams, UK Border Agency regional director, said: "We're disappointed by the council's decision."

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