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Mother and baby ‘dumped’ in unsuitable flat by Border Agency subcontractor

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Mother and baby ‘dumped’ in unsuitable flat by Border Agency subcontractor

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government

Mother and baby ‘dumped’ in unsuitable flat by Border Agency subcontractor Mother and baby ‘dumped’ in unsuitable flat by Border Agency subcontractor

A private landlord subcontracted by the Border Agency has been accused of ‘dumping’ a Bradford asylum seeker and her 12-week-old baby in sub-standard flat.

They were shipped 40 miles away from their home in Bradford to the flat in Doncaster with less than a week’s notice.

United Property Management (UPM) are subcontracted by the Border Agency to house asylum seekers. They moved the pair to the Doncaster property that has no cooker, table or chair, and only a tiny sink to wash dishes and clothes (pictured).

The motivation for the family’s move remains unclear.

John Grayson of South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action group (SYMAAG), who has campaigned and written about the woman’s plight, was among those who alerted the Border Agency to the situation.

After inspecting the Doncaster property the Border Agency declared the flat “contractually non-compliant” and “not suitable in its present state for mothers and babies”.

They have claimed to have demanded that UPM move the woman and her child to suitable accommodation as a matter of urgency.

However, John Grayson said that there had been no change in the pair’s situation.

Security firm G4S were due to take over the contract in May, but have not as yet. A spokesperson for G4S said the contract would start "very soon".

Mr Grayson said: “We believe that 35 people from the area have been moved in this fashion.

"Two are reported to have been sent to Sheffield but asylum group volunteers have been unable to locate them.

“For months now I’ve been writing about the takeover of asylum seeker housing by G4S, the world’s biggest security company. I am one of the Yorkshire campaigners who tried to fight off G4S’s bid to run asylum housing here.

“Our South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group is urging the Border Agency to instruct G4S to cancel the UPM contract. In our view UPM is simply not a fit landlord for the sensitive job of housing asylum seekers.”

When contacted by 24dash, a spokesman at UPM said they were forbidden by the Home Office from talking to the press about the issue.

A UK Border Agency spokesperson said: “Asylum seekers requiring housing are individually assessed so that suitable accommodation can be found.

“The companies which provide this housing must meet certain standards and are regularly assessed for adherence to them.

“If accommodation is found to be unsuitable we expect the provider to find alternative residence or take any necessary action to ensure the housing is improved to meet the required standard.”

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