Refugee homelessness charity, Positive Action in Housing have launched an emergency aid appeal in aid of 300 asylum seeker families and lone men and women, many fleeing war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who are to be made destitute in Glasgow by SERCO, a private landlord subcontracted by the Home Office. Such an action places added pressure on Positive Action in Housing’s Emergency Relief Fund which provides crisis grants and arranges free shelter through the Room for Refugees Network. Genuine Refugees endure systematic cruelty at the hands of an asylum system that fast tracks them into “refused” asylum status, then leaves them destitute. You Can make a Donation here: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/scotlandwelcomesrefugees/472426
Positive Action in Housing has condemned the eviction plans by Rupert Soames’ Serco group. Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing, has written to supporters:
“I have today condemned plans by Rupert Soames’ Serco group, a private landlord subcontracted by the Home Office, to evict 300 asylum seeker families and lone men and women, many of whom are fleeing war or persecution in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, onto the streets of Glasgow.
“We are appalled that Serco would carry out these actions against vulnerable refugees who endure interminable Home Office delays with their cases. I have urged Serco’s CEO, Rupert Soames, to desist from putting people onto the streets.”
“I would also urge all social housing landlords who are leasing flats to Serco to challenge the UK Government’s hostile environment by preventing any evictions without court orders or coercion of vulnerable people to leave by SERCO turning up at people’s doors or carrying out lock changes in social housing stock leased to SERCO.
“At this time, we we are trying to establish – and I have written to Rupert Soames in the early hours but still no answer – is whether in one week, refused asylum seekers will face legal proceedings through the courts or whether Serco plans to change locks systematically of all 300 without a court order. If it is the latter then we have a major problem, ……….. cont’ here: https://www.paih.org/sercos-plans-to-evict-300-asylum-seekers-onto-the-streets-of-glasgow/
- Glasgow has the highest asylum population in the UK as a result of the UK’s forced dispersal policy.
- SERCO houses 5,000 asylum seekers in Glasgow alone, in SERCO eviction letters, Positive Action in Housing is named as the first “go to” organisations for people being made destitute.
- Many of the asylum seekers whom Serco intends to evict are pursuing their legal cases and will have their decisions overturned on appeal. They are not failed asylum seekers, the majority are war refugees whose cases have been dragged out by the Home Office. Consider the case of the Glasgow Hunger strike family, the kamil’s, who were handed leave to remain within hours of announcing a hunger strike bewcause the home office feared embarrassing headlines about their 18 year wait for a decision on their case.
- In 2017-18, Positive Action in Housing provided emergency crisis support and shelter to 1,400 asylum seeking families and individuals. At any one time we provide shelter through Room for Refugees to 70-100 families or individuals each night in the homes of volunteer “hosts”.We arranged 45,000 continuous nights of shelter in the homes of volunteers through our room for refugees Network. (We) distributed £62K of crisis grants to those at risk.