MORE than 100 asylum seekers could soon be calling Hereford home, after it was revealed that the Home Office is forging ahead with plans for the Three Counties Hotel.

The news that the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford's Belmont Road will be used to house up to 120 asylum seekers broke on March 3.

There will also be 24-hour security at the hotel.

Now the plans have been given the green light, with the first asylum seekers arriving next week, it will not be the first time that Hereford has housed asylum seekers.

Government figures show that a number of asylum seekers received Section 95 support in Herefordshire between 2014 and 2022.

Asylum seekers in receipt of support in Herefordshire

This is housing and financial support that can be provided by the Home Office to a person who has claimed asylum if they do not have accommodation or cannot afford to meet their essential living costs.


Section 95 provides support for asylum seekers who have an asylum claim or appeal outstanding and failed asylum seekers who had children in their household when their appeal rights were exhausted.

The data also shows how many were in dispersed accommodation (those in receipt of accommodation only, or both accommodation and subsistence), and subsistence only (where the applicant receives cash to support themselves but has found their own accommodation).

Data also shows that a number of people have been resettled in Herefordshire under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, launched in 2014 to help those in the greatest need, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk, and expanded in 2015 to resettle 20,000 Syrians in need of protection.


By the end of 2017, 60 Syrians had been resettled in Herefordshire, with the county saying it hoped to welcome up to 35 more before the scheme came to an end in 2020 (later postponed to 2021 by the coronavirus pandemic).

Resettlement in Herefordshire

Children have also been resettled in Herefordshire under the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme, launched in 2016, with the aim of resettling up to 3,000 ’at-risk’ refugee children from the Middle East and North Africa region, including their families.

Hereford Times:

What does it mean to seek asylum? Your questions answered:

According to Amnesty International, an asylum seeker is a person who has left their country and is seeking protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in another country.

But, they haven’t yet been legally recognised as a refugee and is waiting to receive a decision on their asylum claim.

Seeking asylum is a human right. A refugee is a person who has fled their own country because they are at risk of serious human rights violations and persecution there. Refugees have a right to international protection.

Meanwhile, there is no internationally accepted legal definition of a migrant, but it is generally accepted as a reference to someone staying outside their country of origin, who is not an asylum seeker or refugee.

Often, but not always, they are seeking better life prospects and are sometimes called economic migrants.

In other parts of the UK, the Home Office has come under fire for how it handles placing asylum seekers in hotels.

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Knowsley Council said the Home Office gave it less than 48 hours’ notice last year of its intention to house asylum seekers at the hotel where violent protests broke out earlier this month.

The council said it had expressed concern to the Home Office at the time that its “lack of engagement” meant the council could not inform its residents and put in place “any support needed”.