In June 2023 Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, announced 'Operation Maximise', the policy of single adult asylum seekers sharing rooms in Asylum Support Accommodation. The new policy, which is now in place, creates a presumption that all single adult asylum seekers can share a room, except for those that fall outside of the 'Suitability Criteria'. Those under the Suitability Criteria, which is outlined in the Allocation of Asylum Support Accommodation Policy includes (but is not limited to); those who are trafficking survivors, people who have physical or mental health conditions and are classed as 'vulnerable', and those with infectious diseases.
We have received a high number of enquiries from individuals who, despite falling outside the Suitability Criteria, have been forced into room sharing. In some cases individuals have been placed in rooms of five individuals.
Room sharing poses a risk to the health and wellbeing of individuals, especially those with existing vulnerabilities. High density accommodation sites with a number of 'maximised' rooms also pose an established health and safety risk.
These 'Maximisation: Know Your Rights' booklets aim to support individuals to understand their rights around room sharing and to advocate for themselves should they be placed in a shared room. Please do distribute these translated guides to people in your communities.