[Hpn] Refugee Housing in Britian deplorable, Shelter REPORTS (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Wed, 31 Jan 2001 05:59:44 -0800 (PST)

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010130/wl/britain_refugee_housing_1.html FWD Associated Press - Tuesday January 30, 2001 REPORT RAPS BRITIAN REFUGEE HOUSING LONDON (AP) - Asylum-seekers in Britain are often placed in overcrowded, unsanitary and bug-infested living quarters with little government assistance, according to a report released Wednesday by an advocacy group for the homeless. The government said the report failed to take into account the work of a new agency responsible for monitoring such accommodation. Shelter, a nonprofit organization assisting the homeless, said it inspected 154 dwellings housing 309 refugees, including 48 children, in and around London between January and March of last year. Dampness, overcrowding, poor sanitation, unhygienic cooking areas and lack of fire escapes were commonplace, the report said. A fifth of the lodgings were infested with cockroaches, fleas and bedbugs, and 80 percent had safety violations, such as windows blocked shut, the report said. ``The chaotic system of housing provision is allowing some private landlords to exploit the misery of asylum seekers,'' said Chris Holmes, director of Shelter. The Home Office, the government department responsible for aiding asylum seekers, argued the report was completed before the implementation in April of the new National Asylum Support Service, or NASS. ``The Home Office does not accept, as the report implies, that failures noted during this fieldwork necessarily apply to NASS,'' the agency said in a statement. ``NASS investigates concerns raised about the quality of accommodation or support and will take action as appropriate.'' During 1999, the United Kingdom had 71,100 new applications for asylum, mostly refugees from the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the former Soviet Union, Turkey, China and Pakistan, according to the Home Office. END FORWARD **In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.** Visit HPN for CONSTANTLY UPDATING NEWS on Homeless People: *************************************************************** Over 10,000 articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people Been Homeless? Then JOIN! EMAIL Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net> Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy ***************************************************************