The Home Office placed the asylum seekers at the hotel in Croydon, south London, in September after “unprecedented demand”. However, they’re being forced to share rooms with strangers of different nationalities and it is alleged the asylum seekers are not getting enough support.
The hotel has not been named in coverage due to threats and visits from far-right groups.
Adam Yasir, co-chair of the Croydon refugee forum, said: “There should be a more coordinated effort from the Home Office. They should have a have better communication to say ‘we are going to bring 50 children in as they need schools’. Some children went for three months without school.
“The communities in the hotels are just waiting, they don’t know what will happen, they don’t know anything about their asylum claims.
“People from different nationalities are put together, it is a bit chaotic.”
But, as My London details, the community in and around the area has rallied to help the groups.
The asylum seekers are being offered mindfulness sessions, legal advice and office space rent free for a year among other support.
“If the community wasn’t engaged with them they would be very, very isolated,” Mr Yasir, a refugee himself after arriving in the capital aged 15 from Sudan in 2006, added.
“I am one of the thousands who used to report regularly for months until my immigration rep had to make a plea from the Home Office to withdraw their request from me to report every Thursday.
“However, the damage was already done and the mental scars stay with me until this very moment.”
Mr Yasir, 30, arranged for the groups to attend minfulness sessions at London South Bank University (LSBU).
The university has also given the group an office space rent free for a year.
The UK has said it will take in 5,000 Afghans in 2021 as part of a scheme to resettle 20,000 over the next few years, focusing on those at greatest risk from the Taliban.
A government spokesperson added: “We are using hotels to manage unprecedented demand and we encourage all local authorities to volunteer their support and work with us.
“We are mindful of pressures on local authorities and are determined to end the use of temporary accommodation as soon as possible.”
But Croydon Council, controlled by Labour, said it is not clear how long people will be based at hotels in the borough.
A spokesman said: “The Home Office has commissioned hotels to house asylum seekers in Croydon and is managing them entirely independently of the council.
“However, the council, local health services and Croydon voluntary organisations have worked to support those placed there by coordinating health visits, safeguarding support, links with local children’s centres, supporting children to get places in local schools and providing language classes through our Croydon Adult Learning and Training (CALAT) team.
“The Home Office have not provided us with any indication of their intent regarding the duration of the commissioning of the rooms and we are seeking clarity on this.”