£100,000 fund to help asylum seekers in Glasgow facing eviction

Several protests have taken place outside the Home Office in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
Several protests have taken place outside the Home Office in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

More than £100,000 in funding has been announced to help asylum seekers in Glasgow who are being threatened with eviction.

A rolling lock change eviction process for those not given refugee status had been announced by accommodation provider Serco.

The firm, contracted by the Home Office, announced a temporary reprieve on the plans last week in the face of legal challenges and protests.

Now the Scottish Government has given £110,000 to the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service.

It will allow three partner charities to double their capacity to support people and provide accommodation, over six months.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “While we welcome the pause in the issue of lock change notices, this is only a temporary measure, and the fact remains that destitution and homelessness are built into the current asylum system - placing hundreds of people at risk.

“The plight of people threatened with eviction demands a resolute and humanitarian approach and we cannot see people turned on to the streets because of the failure of the Home Office’s asylum policy.

“We all have a moral duty to do what we can to help those most in need and this additional funding, while a short-term solution, will provide urgent assistance needed.”

After Serco announced the lock change plans last month, Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken wrote to Home Secretary Sajid Javid warning it risks a “humanitarian crisis”, leaving those affected out on the streets.

The contractor denies the claim and said it currently pays accommodation for 330 asylum seekers who no longer receive Home Office support.

About a third have been granted leave to remain while the remainder have been refused refugee status.

Eviction plans affect the latter group, which the firm says have no right to remain in the UK.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “It is important that we ensure failed asylum seekers are getting the information they need about the support available to them once their asylum process comes to an end.

“How we work together to do this has been a key part of the discussions the Immigration Minister has been having with Serco, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.”