Outrage as 300 city asylum seekers face eviction


Asylum seekers will struggle to find any form of accommodation 

30th July 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Campaigners say they are appalled 300 asylum seekers face eviction from their properties in Glasgow from today (30 July).  

Locks are being changed by Serco, the company contracted to provide the accommodation, after the asylum seekers were refused refugee status by the Home Office.

Glasgow City Council is not allowed to house asylum seekers whose claims have been declined by the Home Office.

It means many are likely to end up homeless and sleeping rough on the streets of the city.

Charities working with those threatened with eviction say around 18 have mental health issues and nine asylum seekers have intrusive, suicidal thoughts.

The Women's Asylum Seeker Housing (W-ASH) project, who first raised concern over the evictions, said Serco have not engaged with charities or any organisations providing assistance and support for asylum seekers.

The company, which is run by Winston Churchill's grandson Rupert Soames, has signed a contract with the Home Office until 2019.

Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, said:  “This is the hostile environment on Scottish soil, vulnerable refugees, many from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and Afghanistan, endure systematic cruelty at the hands of an asylum system that fast tracks them into “refused” asylum status, then leaves them destitute.

“It needs to be remembered that many of the asylum seekers that Serco intends to evict are pursuing their legal cases and have their decisions overturned on appeal.

“Destitution is a cheap way for the UK government not to support the vulnerable in our society, and create an underclass of exploited, invisible human beings with no purpose or hope.”

Refugees whose applications are turned down are ordered to leave the UK and the government then stops paying for their accommodation. Serco says it has been covering the costs of the 300 Glasgow refugees’ accommodation for several months.

Jenni Halliday, contract director at Serco, said: “We’ve been providing housing free of charge to over 300 former asylum seekers who no longer have the right to stay in the UK.

“While we’re sympathetic to their plight, we believe we have been more than supportive of these individuals by providing them with an additional period of housing in which to make alternative arrangements but we cannot continue to provide free housing indefinitely.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “It is right that we prepare for someone’s removal if they do not have a lawful basis to stay in the UK and they are not pursuing an appeal.”