Some asylum seekers in housing 'to which they are not entitled'

Some asylum seekers who claimed to be without a penny were found with "indications of prosperity", when they were being housed in publicly-funded accommodation, according to a Government report.

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Serco: Asylum seeker housing 'challenging'

Private security firm Secro has admitted they struggled to provide housing for asylum seekers, calling the fall-out from a major change in Government contracts "challenging".

James Thorburn, managing director of Serco's home affairs business explained:

The transition from the previous contracts was, as the NAO acknowledges, challenging, but Serco at all times concentrated on minimising the disruption to service users through extensive communication including the provision of information in 12 languages.

Over 90% of service users remained in the same accommodation, ensuring the continuity of key services for families and individuals.

We accept there remains scope for further improvement and we are committed to working with the Home Office and our partners in local government, the NHS and the voluntary sector to achieve that.

– James Thorburn, Serco

Govt aiming to recover £3-4m from G4S and Serco

The Government is trying to claim back a total of £3-4 million paid to two private security firms contracted to provide housing for asylum seekers, a watchdog has revealed.

National Audit Office (NAO) investigators had flagged concerns over the Serco and G4S ability to meet obligations after the Government announced an inquiry into contracts with the private security firms, a report published by the NAO said.

They found G4S and Serco had failed to meet contractual standards in some areas, such as property conditions, and the Government was now attempting to recover rebates worth £3 million and £4 million due to poor performance.

Read more: G4S and Serco 'struggled' to provide asylum housing


G4S and Serco 'struggled' to provide asylum housing

Two of the three private security firms chosen to head provide accommodation for around 23,000 asylum seekers "struggled" throughout a major project to make the process more efficient.

The National Audit Office report found:

  • G4S and Serco caused continued uncertainty for asylum seekers because they "struggled" to find and move them into suitable housing.
  • They took on housing stock without properly inspecting it and subsequently found that many of the properties were not up to the demands of the contracts.
  • Both of the firms failed to meet other contractual demands, such as sticking to a timetable for finding asylum seekers suitable housing and on other property conditions.

Some refugees taking homes 'from those more in need'

Some asylum seekers are "occupying" publicly-funded housing when "it was clear" they had the means to support themselves, a watchdog has found.

An investigation into housing given to asylum seekers by the National Audit Office said:

During the fieldwork for our investigation, we visited a sample of properties used to house asylum seekers.

In some of these, it was clear that the occupants may have a level of income above that expected of someone receiving the minimum level of support under section four or section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

There is a risk that individuals or families may be occupying properties to which they are not entitled, thus taking resources away from those more in need.

– National Audit Office report

Concerns over asylum seeker housing

Some asylum seekers are living in publicly-funded housing when they could afford more, a Parliament watchdog has found.

Some asylum seekers are taking publicly-funded housing from the truly destitute, the NAO found. Credit: PA

An investigation by the National Audit Office (NAO) found some asylum seekers had "indicators of wealth" when they had claimed to be "destitute".

This was taking away housing from other refugees who were genuinely without a penny to their name, the NAO said.

As of April last year, the Home Office provided accommodation for around 23,000 asylum seekers with around 60% receiving financial support from the department.

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