A housing charter has been launched in Calderdale to improve accommodation for people seeking asylum.
The G4S Residents Charter aims to improve the quality and value of services for tenants living in accommodation provided or managed by landlords and their agents, including the government-contracted housing provider G4S.
Sisters United, a community group run by women living in accommodation for people seeking asylum in Halifax, is spearheading the initiative in partnership with Calderdale Council, St Augustine’s Community Centre, Migrants Organise; and advocacy organisation, the Racial Justice Network.
The charter calls for landlords and agencies to provide better housing, housing services, and information, so that people seeking asylum – many of whom are particularly vulnerable – can live in safe, secure and healthy homes.
The charter will help guide service providers to meet the requirements of their tenants and fulfil their legal duties relating to property standards. It will also boost relationships and communication between housing providers and their tenants.
Veeca Smith Uka, co-founder of Sisters United, said: “Many people seeking asylum, myself included, have experiences of living in poor-quality, dirty, and unsafe accommodation. We all have a right to a safe roof over our heads, and to be treated with dignity and respect when we raise concerns about housing conditions.
“This new charter will help residents to understand our rights, have our voices heard, and work with service providers to ensure housing equality for all.”