Croydon’s asylum hotels: Mould, mice and ‘malnourished’ pregnant resident forced to induce labour

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

A pregnant asylum seeker was so malnourished at a Croydon hotel she had to have her labour induced, a council meeting heard.

There are more than 1,000 people living in Croydon hotels while they wait for the Home Office to consider their asylum cases.

Councillor Richard Chatterjee visited one of the hotels with other representatives from the council.

He said food at the hotel was at one point so bad people were going hungry because they didn’t want to eat it.

He told a council scrutiny meeting yesterday: “Food for the residents is prepared by an outside catering company.

“The previous company prepared food that was unappetising for the residents. There was a lot of waste and some residents were left hungry – so much so that a pregnant resident became malnourished to the extent that her labour was induced as a clinical decision.”

The quality of food was not the only complaint of asylum seekers living in Croydon hotels for a long time.

Videos and pictures show black mould and mice in some rooms.

Cllr Chatterjee added: “The hotel rooms are designed for guests staying for a limited period, typically by people on business or holidays not for families for an open ended period the longest resident occupants are currently on 14 months.”

He added that a “dozen or so” rooms in the basement had no windows, while some single rooms had three beds separated by just seven inches, and were occupied by unrelated adults.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: “We take complaints extremely seriously. We monitor accommodation providers’ performance constantly and can take action if they have fallen short of the required standards.

“The fairer full dispersal model aims to increase the amount of accommodation available for asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute, helping to reduce the time they need to stay in costly hotels.” 

Pictured top: Mice in a room at one of the Croydon hotels, and black mould and water damage at one of the Croydon hotels (Picture: Croydon Refugee Forum )

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