Author: Chris Foote
Legal action intended to halt the eviction of 240 Glasgow asylum seekers with just seven days notice is under way.
Home Office housing provider Serco had begun issuing letters to tenants warning their locks would be changed if they did not leave willingly.
However, it has temporarily put those plans on hold following legal challenges from Shelter and the Govan Law Centre.
All of the affected tenants have overstayed in their flats, which were paid for by the Home Office until their asylum applications were turned down.
Serco has said six tenants already served with lock-change notices will be given an extra 21 days and no further notices will be issued.
Another 88 tenants who have already been granted refuge in the UK have been served with separate eviction notices but are not believed to be at imminent risk.
Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “Our legal team will be presenting papers to Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday morning along with the legal services agency who act for a third individual to try and get interim orders that will prevent the lock changes threatened to our clients.
“Our clients are actively working with immigration lawyers to resolve their asylum claims. Interim orders temporarily stopping the lock changes will allow this work to continue with our clients having a home to live in.”
Serco said it “welcomed” the legal challenge and said it believes its plans to evict all 240 tenants in stages over the next few months were “fully within the law”.
It claims to have spent around £1m housing them over the last year without support from the Home Office.
People whose applications are rejected no longer receive assistance but cannot be deported while they appeal the Home Office’s decision. Around half of asylum decisions are overturned on appeal.