Scottish Greens call for asylum housing to be taken out of private hands

Scottish Greens call for asylum housing to be taken out of private hands

Councillor Kim Long

Scottish Greens councillor Kim Long has launched a new campaign for asylum seeker housing to be operated by the local authority and the third sector.

The #WelcomeHome campaign comes after the death of two people in the past two months and mounting concerns about living conditions for asylum seekers during lockdown.

Glasgow is the only asylum dispersal area in Scotland and currently supports c.5,000 asylum seekers.

Last week the council issued a temporary pause on asylum seekers being sent to the city in order to “ease pressures” and assist accommodation provider Mears to source suitable accommodation for those currently in hotels.

Councillor Long said: “The living situation of Glasgow’s asylum seekers came starkly to public attention in the aftermath of the tragedy at the Park Inn hotel, but for those of us who campaign for better conditions for asylum seekers in Glasgow it had been a long running concern.

“We know that the people who had been forced to live in those hotels and the local charities and campaign groups working with them had been warning of a spiralling mental health crisis for months.

“It has also become clear that neither the Home Office nor its contractor undertook any vulnerability assessments before people were moved.

“I’m determined to fight for local accountability, and I believe the first step must be to take responsibility for housing contracts out of the hands of companies who put profit before the welfare of residents.

“That’s why I’m calling for asylum seeker housing to be under local control, run by Glasgow City Council and the third sector, so that Glasgow can be a welcome home for everyone.” 

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