Provider of asylum seeker housing dropped after criticism
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Asylum seeker housing provider dropped after criticism
Security firm G4S has confirmed that it has dropped a sub-contractor responsible for housing asylum seekers, citing "contractual issues".
The sub-contractor, United Property Management (UPM), has been heavily criticised over its work with asylum seekers.
UPM were originally contracted by the UK Border Agency, but were taken on by G4S when the firm was awarded the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber (NEYH) region COMPASS (commercial and operational managers procuring asylum support services).
A G4S spokeswoman said: “G4S has informed UPM that owing to contractual issues we will not be proceeding with them as a supplier of accommodation services under the COMPASS contract.
"These services will now be provided by Mantel, Live Management Group, Target and Cascade, all experienced suppliers of housing provision and pastoral care services, whom we have already contracted.”
UPM has received criticism recently for its decision to re-house a Bradford asylum seeker and her 12-week-old baby in a sub-standard flat in Doncaster.
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”.
Campaigners at South Yorkshire Migration And Asylum Group (SYMAAG) have declared victory over the ditching of UPM, who they claim have been providing sub-standard housing to asylum seekers for years.
They claim that UPM is still refusing to move the Doncaster woman and her child for at least another month.
On the SYMAAG website, campaigner Stuart Crosthwaite wrote: “The next few weeks will see G4S in a frantic search for other sub-contractors paid for by £135 million of public money in Yorkshire and Humberside.
“We will be subjecting them to the same scrutiny as we put UPM under. No doubt there are also issues of legality relating to the COMPASS contract which was signed with UPM as the named primary sub-contractor (not their replacement organisations).
“Whichever sub-contractors G4S select we maintain our view that G4S are prison guards not landlords. Their record is one of abuse towards asylum seekers in this country and elsewhere. We should not be paying them public money to operate this contract.”
UPM is forbidden by the Home Office from talking to the press.