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Initial Accommodation & Sub Regional Strategic Migration Meeting update from Mary at Asylum Matters – Sept 20

Urban House IA 

As many of you know, the Initial Accommodation Centre in Wakefield, Urban House, has been closed since July following a Covid-19 outbreak, which came in the wake of strong, public criticism of the suitability and safety of the building and the lack of precautions taken to protect its inhabitants, including from the residents themselves

Mears have announced that Urban House will be re-opening again soon, with a number of welcome measures brought in to better protect residents and staff including: 

  • No service user experiencing a clinical vulnerability will be accommodated at Urban House; 
  • A maximum capacity of 270 service users is set; 
  • No unrelated individuals will be required to share a room; 
  • Self-Isolation and Outbreak Management; 
  • In the event 70% room capacity is reached, Mears will negotiate and implement a second self- isolation area; 
  • The household will remain the same for 21 days; 
  • Appropriate Covid-19 social distance measures and sanitising stations will be in place and replenished regularly; 
  • Service users will be provided with face coverings; 
  • An in depth induction will be delivered to each service user; 
  • Service users wishing to leave Urban House for overnight stays will be asked so self-isolate for 14 days on their return; 
  • The outbreak plan, risk assessment and all associated protocols will be adopted in the day to day management of Urban House; 
  • On site staff are provided with appropriate PPE and are offered the opportunity to access regular testing should they wish to access.

Sub regional strategic migration group meetings

The sub regional strategic migration group meetings in West Yorkshire is coming next week, providing an opportunity for us to raise any local issues, trends we are seeing on the ground or concerns we have at a strategic level with representatives from the Home Office, Mears, Migrant Help and Local Authorities. If you have anything you would like to feed into these meetings, please get in touch with new Leeds rep Ally Swadling [email protected]

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