Serco begins evicting asylum seekers

Duncan brown

Photo: Duncan Brown 

Despite legal challenges, the company goes ahead with hated eviction of desperate asylum seekers 

12th June 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Glasgow asylum seekers face destitution as their housing provider begins changing their locks.

The hugely controversial move is now taking place after all legal challenges were exhausted.

It means housing provider Serco, which houses around 300 asylum seekers in the city, will evict hundreds of asylum seekers who have failed in their applications to remain in the UK.   

The company lost the Home Office contract in Scotland to house refugees and asylum seekers to the Mears Group which takes over the contract in September.

Julia Rogers, Serco's managing director for immigration, said: “We very much regret the distress this will cause, but hope that it will be understood that we cannot be expected to provide free housing indefinitely to hundreds of people who have been unsuccessful in their asylum claims and most of whom have no legal right to remain in the UK.”

The lock changing will be rolled out over the next four months with no more than 30 people being evicted in any one week.

No children will be left without housing says Serco and those being evicted will be given at least 21 days’ notice.

Housing associations and charities are pulling together to rehome those evicted.  

Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, who has vociferously campaigned on the issue, said she was shocked by the move.

“Rupert Soames (Serco’s CEO) agreed publicly that they would not take any immediate action to evict after the Court of Session judgement last month, and would consult with key partners. Neither of these happened.

"We are also extremely concerned, in the absence of a structured eviction process with a sheriff officer attending, what these lock change evictions look like. Are people going to be dragged out with their belongings dumped in the street? There is no procedure.”

Serco said it would give £150,000 to homeless charities in Glasgow to help the evictees.