Less than a quarter of homes in Glasgow housing asylum seekers were found to be compliant with basic housing standards, new figures reveal.

Between December 1, 2018 and April 22, 2019, inspectors visited properties housing asylum seekers on 199 occasions across Glasgow, with more than 75 per cent failing inspections.

Figures obtained using freedom of information legislation show landlords housing asylum seekers were also forced to make emergency repairs to properties in recent months due to issues with the housing stock.

Inspections on 15 homes across the city found serious issues such as holes in the floor, exposed electrical wiring, as well as a lack of water, gas and electricity, were reported to Home Office contractors since December.


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Other issues in the emergency category include a lack of lock at homes, as well as an absence of fire safety or carbon monoxide alarms.

A further 15 properties needed urgent repairs, such as broken windows or a lack of gas or electricity certification.

Serco, who manage around 2,000 properties across Glasgow, are contractually obliged to carry out repairs under strict timescales.

While there were no repairs in the two-hour 'immediate category, bosses were forced to fix the emergency defects within 24 hours, and urgent issues within seven days.


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Those working with asylum seekers have slammed the 'horrendous' findings, calling for intervention to prevent injury.

A spokesperson for the Asylum Seeker Housing Project said: "It is shocking that in this day and age, people are being forced to endure such horrendous living conditions and we are concerned that it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

"We believe this is now a serious safeguarding issue and urge Glasgow City Council’s Private Landlord Section to intervene and ensure that all asylum accommodation in our city is safe and prevent possible loss of life.”


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Glasgow Green councillor Kim Long echoed these sentiments, calling the housing conditions 'shameful'.

She added: "People seeking refugee protection are often traumatised and living with physical and mental health issues due to the circumstances that forced them to flee.

Evening Times:

"They need safe and secure housing while they endure the long, stressful Home Office process - it is shameful the majority of these homes have been found to be below basic standards."

Speaking to the Evening Times, Serco said that defects such a this in such a large portfolio of housing was 'to be expected', and that they were confident the company were able to rectify problems within the required timescales.

Jenni Halliday, Serco COMPASS contract director, added: “Serco manages over 2,000 properties in Glasgow to house asylum seekers and there will always be problems in such a large portfolio; boilers break down, windows get broken, taps leak. This is perfectly normal and to be expected.

"What matters is the speed with which Serco responds and corrects the problems.

"We are confident that we are rectifying problems that occur within the timescales that are laid out in our contract.”


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A Home Office spokeswoman said the department "demand high standards from our contractors and their accommodation".

She added: “All properties are inspected by the providers on a monthly basis, in addition to regular inspections carried out by Home Office officials, to ensure that we maintain these standards.

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"Under the new contracts we have included requirements for proactive property management as well as regular customer feedback which will ensure that issues with accommodation are resolved quickly.”