Friday, 18 April 2014

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.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Rick Campbell

    I was getting a bit lost in the sub-contractors' own sub-contractors, so I may have to return to this story at a ;ater date as it's all too confusing for a lowly tenant like me who struggles a bit with process maps at times.

    However, I will leave a thought on my departure -- it all stems from cost-cutting by the government.

    How strange it is (tee hee)that I can blame the government quite easily but can't get my head around the sub-contracting maze,

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  • Rick you should be worried.Under a 1999 Act people in asylum housing (waiting for decisions on seeking asylum) have been stripped of all tenancy rights - even eviction acts.G4S and originally UPM are to evict these tenants from council accommodation,humanitarian housing which Yorkshire councils have allocated to refugees since the 1950's Hungarians,1970's Chileans,Kenya and Uganda 'Asians'.
    Only last quarter 21 detainees in G4S detention centres tried to commit suicide.G4S are feared by asylum seekers and now the government has given them the asylum housing.G4S should lose contract as well.

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