In response to the announcement from Birmingham City Council that they would no longer provide housing for asylum seekers from July 2011, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“We are disappointed that Birmingham City Council is no longer prepared to house asylum seekers in the city. Many of these people have fled persecution and conflict, and the least they deserve is to live in safety and dignity while the UKBA makes a decision on their case.
“Contrary to what many believe, asylum seekers do not jump the queue for council housing and they cannot choose where they live. They are dispersed to often deprived areas of cities across the UK, and often live in ‘hard to let’ properties, where other people choose not to live.
“We know these are hard times for everyone, but this is no reason to let some of the most vulnerable people in our society to suffer further.”