I am an asylum seeker – have been living in a hotel in Southend for a year but want a home of my own


MORE than 13 months after arriving in Britain, three Afghan refugees are still languishing at the three-star Park Inn by Radisson Palace Hotel.

Afghanis Siddiq Naziri, 18, his twin brother Omer and their cousin Haroon Jalil, 22, dream of having their own home.


Afghan migrants living in a hotel in Southend say they want their own home1 credit

All three have been granted permission to remain in the UK.

Student Siddiq revealed in his excellent English: “We are grateful for all the help we have received from the UK government, but we are still waiting for accommodation.

“We have been living in this hotel for a year now. It’s a nice place but there are guests staying here and we would like to have our own house.

Student Siddiq, who works in a fried chicken shop at the seaside resort, says he would like to be closer to his 11-year-old sister, who has hearing problems and lives with an aunt in Grays, Essex.

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The young cricket madman added: “People in Britain are so nice and have really helped us.

“I want a house of my own. One day I would like to work in real estate.

A spokesperson for Southend-on-Sea City Council said the hotel “remains under contract with the Home Office as a relay hotel for Afghan evacuees”.

They added: ‘The longer-term goal is to get families into housing across the country.’

The Interior Ministry acknowledged that the hotels do not “provide a long-term solution” under the resettlement program for Afghan citizens, adding “they provide safe, secure and clean accommodation”.

They point out that Britain has provided accommodation for nearly 7,400 Afghan evacuees, but “there is a shortage of local accommodation for all”.

Yet demand is expected to continue to soar.

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On Wednesday, 856 chilly and hungry migrants crossed the English Channel in small boats.

With Britain’s housing stock cracking, it’s likely most will end up in expensive hotel rooms.

Asylum seekers have been staying in Southend-on-Sea for a year


Asylum seekers have been staying in Southend-on-Sea for a yearCredit: Alamy
Migrants have crossed the Channel in record numbers this year


Migrants have crossed the Channel in record numbers this yearCredit: PA

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