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More than £100,000 to help eviction-threat asylum seekers

The Scottish Government funding will be distributed between three charities.

Asylum seeker: One of 328 facing eviction.
Asylum seeker: One of 328 facing eviction. STV

More than £100,000 of emergency funding is being made available to help asylum seekers at long-term threat of eviction in Glasgow.

It comes after Home Office housing provider Serco revealed plans to make 328 overstaying tenants homeless - some with just seven days notice.

The £110,000 grant from the Scottish Government will be distributed between three organisations which support asylum seekers and refugees.

Charities in Glasgow had warned they would be stretched to breaking point if the evictions went ahead.

Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: "The plight of people threatened with eviction demands a resolute and humanitarian approach and we cannot see people turned on to the streets because of the failure of the Home Office's asylum policy," she said.

"We all have a moral duty to do what we can to help those most in need and this additional funding, while a short-term solution, will provide urgent assistance needed."

The funding with be shared by the Scottish Refugee Council, the Refugee Survival Trust and the British Red Cross.

It will allow the charities to allow them to double their capacity over the next six months, Ms Campbell said.

Serco has temporarily halted the evictions while two separate legal challenges are decided.

The Govan Law Centre and housing charity Shelter have both gone to court on behalf of tenants facing homelessness.

Serco has issued eviction notices to 328 asylum seekers who overstayed in flats provided by the contractor after their asylum applications were decided.

Around a third of them have been granted asylum by the Home Office.

The remaining two thirds had been expected to receive letters in batches over the next few months warning they would have just seven days to leave their homes before their locks were changed.

Serco has said it will not issue any further notices until the legal cases have been resolved. Meanwhile, six people who have already been issued with notices have been given another 21 days to leave.

It claims to have spent around £1m housing overstaying asylum seekers in Glasgow without support from the Home Office and said it has been subjected to "vile abuse".

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.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said supporting failed asylum seekers had been a "key part" of talks held this week with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.

"It is important that we ensure failed asylum seekers are getting the information they need about the support available to them once their asylum process comes to an end," she added.

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