An influential group of MPs has slammed the private providers of accommodation for asylum seekers.
The Public Accounts Committee has today published a damning new report into the provision of the Government appointed COMPASS contracts primarily delivered by Serco, G4S and Clearel.
The report described the standard of accommodation provided as “unacceptably poor” and highlighted failures in improving the quality of housing in a timely manner.
The Committee also criticised contractors’ lack of prior experience in managing asylum accommodation and referred to the providers’ overall performance as “patchy”.
The Refugee Council has long held concerns about the availability and quality of housing available to asylum seekers.
Refugee Council Advocacy Manager Dr Lisa Doyle said: “These super contracts were awarded on the basis that the Home Office would make a significant cost saving. Sadly, the real implication appears to have been significant human cost.
“Asylum seekers have often fled the worst kind of atrocities in their home countries and have endured perilous journeys on their path to safety. Some people arrive in the UK only with only the clothes on their back.
“They have no choice where they live, and as this report demonstrates, often no way of speaking up if they don’t feel safe.
“It’s vital that while people wait for a decision on their asylum claim they are housed in secure and comfortable conditions.”
Photo courtesy of Bill Knight.