NACCOM, alongside other migrants’ rights, housing and homelessness organisations, has welcomed news that the Government has withdrawn draft regulations to exempt asylum accommodation from HMO (houses in multiple occupation) licensing, which would have weakened vital safety measures for those in the asylum system living in Home Office accommodation.  

The Government’s announcement follows the anticipated start of a judicial review challenging the draft regulations in February 2024, which was abandoned shortly before the trial was due to start, when claimants were informed that the Home Office had decided to withdraw their proposals. 

Organisations advocating for and supporting refugees raised serious concerns about the plans, which first came to light in spring 2023, flagging the increased risk people in asylum accommodation would face if fire safety and other minimum standards were not enforced in HMO properties procured by Home Office contractors.  

In an open letter signed by over 130 organisations, the then Home Secretary, Suella Braverman MP, was urged to abandon the draft regulations. NACCOM worked on some joint advocacy with partners including the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and Crisis to voice our concerns to MPs and Peers, and provided a witness statement for the judicial review, drawing on expert evidence and insight from frontline members in our network, including Refugee Action, St Augustine’s, Abigail Housing, LASSN, Asylum Link Merseyside and Rainbow Migration.