After seven years of delivering asylum accommodation in Glasgow, Serco’s contract has now come to an end. From next week, housing provider Mears Group will take over this responsibility. 

The last twelve months have brought lock-change evictions, multiple court hearings, interdict orders and distress and anxiety for hundreds of people in Glasgow. We sincerely welcome the opportunity for a new provider to bring a different approach to this vital public service.

Today, we and our friends and partners have asked Mears Group to publicly commit to ending all threats of lock change evictions

Scots law protects most Scottish people from eviction without a court order, and we believe that this should apply to everyone in Scotland regardless of immigration status.

We are not asking for people to be given special privileges, just to be treated the same way as everybody else.

Dear Mears Group,

People in Glasgow are frightened.

People are scared to leave their asylum accommodation for even five minutes in case Serco changes their locks and they find themselves forced out onto the street.

This is not the way a civilised society should treat people. This is not the way a publicly funded housing provider should deliver an essential public service.

As you take over the asylum accommodation contract from Serco next week, we welcome the opportunity for a new approach to supporting people seeking refugee protection.

But, for the fear and distress in Glasgow to end, we need to know that you will never carry out summary evictions. We need to hear that you will treat people fairly no matter what stage they are at in the asylum process.

No one should face street homelessness without a court order in Scotland.

We urge you to help end the fear and anxiety and commit to doing things differently.


Chris Pettigrew
Author: Chris Pettigrew