Friday, 26 May 2017

Asylum seeker accommodation provider dropped

A security firm contracted by the government to find accommodation for asylum seekers has ditched one of its providers.

G4S said it has decided not to use United Property Management due to ‘contractual issues’.

G4S was one of three firms named in March to take on the UK Border Agency’s asylum seeker accommodation contracts. This was done under the UKBA’s commercial and operational managers procuring asylum support services project, aimed at cutting down the costs of providing asylum accommodation. 

UPM was to be a sub-contractor for G4S in the west midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside.

In a statement G4S 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.’

The UK Border Agency announced in March it was to hand over all its asylum accommodation contracts to private companies G4S, Serco and Clearel - a joint venture between Clearsprings and Reliance.

These three organisations then sub-contract to other companies who then provide the actual accommodation and support for those claiming section 95 (for asylum seekers) and section 4 accommodation (for failed asylum seekers).

Dave Stamp, project manager at Asylum Support and Immigration Resource Team, a charity which gives advice on asylum, said he was worried about how this would affect asylum and failed asylum seekers in the west midlands area.

He said neither the UKBA nor G4S had given any information about whether dropping UPM’s services would mean people have to move from existing accommodation.

‘We had a meeting of [asylum] support stakeholders with the UKBA on Monday. G4S were present. But there was no mention was made of UPM being recontracted on Monday,’ he said.

He has written to the UKBA asking for information. ‘The repercussions aren’t yet clear,’ he said. ‘But it looks likely that many people will be uprooted and moved to different accommodation providers as a consequence.’

A spokeswoman for G4S denied that any asylum seekers would be moved as a result of the decision to stop working with UPM.

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