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Refugees In Unfit Homes, Says Group

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The Journal (Newcastle, UK)

BYLINE: Sam Wood

REFUGEES and asylum seekers from some of the world’s most notorious troublespots are being exploited once they reach the North East, campaigners say. Tyneside Community Action for Refugees protested outside the Westgate Road, Newcastle, offices of housing provider Angel Group yesterday morning. TCAR alleges Angel, which has a Home Office contract to house asylum seekers, has placed them in substandard accommodation. Angel strongly denies that. Tom Vickers, 26, a TCAR member at the demonstration, said: “The protest was about putting forward a basic list of demands to call on Angel Group to treat asylum seekers like human beings. Angel group makes millions from its Home Office contracts, but they’re housing asylum seekers in accommodation that isn’t fit for an animal. Areas of Scotswood that have been boarded up and scheduled for demolition have been opened up by Angel Group to house asylum seekers. Most of it has been boarded up for years and is infested with rats and cockroaches. Other Angel Group tenants have reported being kept for months without gas and electricity, and Angel Group employees routinely let themselves into people’s homes without any notice. “The fact that Angel Group has been allowed to get away with these practices around Britain for the past nine years shows the utter contempt in which the Labour government holds asylum seekers.” Angel Group commercial consultant Mervyn Clarke told The Journal: “The properties are maintained to a very high standard. It is a requirement of the Government. We inspect our properties on a regular basis, as do the Home Office. If there are any specific problems which residents have, then we will deal with them. “We have been housing people for 12 years and we are well aware of the sensitivities which are involved.” A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We are aware of a small demonstration that took place at the offices of one of our accommodation providers. While we respect the right to peaceful protest, it will not stop us from enforcing the immigration laws passed by Parliament.”

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Written by Concerned

April 29, 2008 at 4:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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