The Asylum Business - the UK's hidden housing crisis

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The Asylum Business – the UK’s hidden housing crisis

SYMAAG was pleased to be able to contribute to a recent BBC Radio 4 File on 4 investigation into asylum housing. You can listen to it here

Asylum housing contracts were wholly privatised in 2012 when G4S were handed the contract in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East. We met Steven Small, the G4S manager responsible for housing in our region. He responded to our question about why G4S had taken the contract by saying “to ensure a return for our shareholders in the asylum market”. 9 years on the “asylum market” is being operated by Mears Group, Serco and Clearsprings. And while there may be “returns for shareholders” asylum tenants are still living in dangerous and undignified accommodation, made more urgent by the pandemic.

Listen to this investigation of the “asylum market” 9 years on.

“It was a totally negative experience. We were deprived of our rights. Denied a piece of soap to wash our hands” – Irena at Urban House IAC Brave testimonies from asylum tenants despite threats from Mears Group that complaints would affect asylum claims.

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