The Home Office is responsible for asylum and protection in the UK, including supporting destitute people who seek asylum by providing financial support and accommodation. At the end of June 2023, the Home Office was providing accommodation to around 113,000 people seeking asylum and around 51,000 of these were staying in hotels. In 2022-23, the Home Office spent around £3.6 billion on asylum support, of which £2.3 billion was spent on hotels and £0.4 billion on other types of accommodation. 

The Home Office wants to reduce the use of hotels to accommodate people who seek asylum in the UK. It is trying to procure accommodation in local areas for people to live in while they wait for an asylum decision and is also using, or is looking to use, larger sites such as barges or disused military bases. 

The Illegal Migration Act, which became law in July 2023, will place a duty on the Home Secretary to remove all people who arrive irregularly to the UK, and gives new powers to the Home Office to detain people prior to their removal. This may bring about a significant change in the type of accommodation the Home Office requires. 


We will set out the facts regarding the Home Office’s current and future plans for accommodating and detaining people who arrive in the UK to seek asylum, including the costs of different asylum accommodation and how the Home Office oversees such projects. 

NAO Team 
Director: Oliver Lodge 
Senior Audit Manager: Caroline Harper