Migrants Organise Members Are Telling Clearsprings: We Demand Decent Homes!

Migrants Organise members are speaking up to demand decent homes from private provider Clearsprings Ready Homes. Please take action in solidarity with them by sharing this letter of their demands:

To the Directors of Clearsprings Ltd,

I am writing to express my concerns about conditions in ‘asylum accommodation’ provided and managed by your company under contract with the Home Office.  

I want to be sure that you are aware of these urgent issues I have been made aware of by a number of people in your care. These are their words: 

“… [I was] not allowed to spend 24 hour outside, no good food, no fridge, no microwave… [it]is like I have been living my life in prison.”

“Home Office’s accommodation is horrible. It’s not up to standard, with broken facilities, no kettle, no hot water, no thick blanket, no TV, no electricity, broken windows, doors, glasses and mirror, and there are bed bugs, cockroaches, mice, spiders and flies. Where my friend live, there are 8 people and only one pan. 

Asylum seekers living in the Home Office’s accommodation can be for a very long time, months or years, with different people coming and going every couple of months, and it can be very bad for mental health.

They’re trying to make our lives miserable and sorrowful.” (1)

The poor state of accommodation was reported by various news media outlets. There have also been numerous complaints made to Migrant Help about the conditions in Clearsprings managed accommodation – in October 2022 – 348 complaints were made. Despite this evidence demonstrating that these poor living conditions are widespread and systemic, it appears to us that you have failed to address them. Many people told us that they feel afraid that speaking out will somehow negatively impact their asylum claims.

Your company continues to amass huge profits while the conditions in ‘asylum accommodation’  do not seem to improve. In 2022, in the midst of a cost of living crisis, you reported £28m in net profits while your residents lived in decrepit houses and struggled to buy food and other essential items.

It seems clear that even the basic standards outlined in the Asylum Accommodation and Support Schedule Statement of Requirements that accommodation is  ‘safe, secure and warm’ and requires ‘effective resolution of service user maintenance issues and complaints” are not being met. Reports of mould, overcrowding, inedible food, lack of access to the kitchen or microwave, running hot water, privacy, and no communal spaces are common. This is unacceptable and does not allow people to live in dignity. 

Clearsprings should publicly apologise for the distress caused to people who have resided and continue to reside in the accommodation contracted by the Home Office and commit to making improvements and treating people in your care with humanity and dignity. 

In solidarity with the Clearsprings residents and friends who are deliberately silenced and unheard, I would like a written response addressing what is being done to improve the conditions and prioritise the well-being and dignity of people living in Clearsprings asylum accommodation. 

We believe people should be housed in communities with dignity. If you believe this too you would drop the contract with the Home Office who are intent on enforcing a hostile environment for migrants.

(1) These quotes are written first-hand testimony by residents in Clearsprings (Home Office contracted) Accommodation and were featured in the ‘Home Bitter Home’ public exhibition, January 2023.

This letter was put together by the Migrants Organise Housing Collective, a group of Migrants Organise
members and friends who are on the sharp end of racist hostile environment immigration policies. Learn more about our work on housing and accommodation here.