Housing Group Mears, accused of providing accommodation for “pressure cooker” asylum seekers, makes a profit


The exile group Mears welcomed the “strong” 2020 financial results on Thursday, claiming that it provided asylum seekers with accommodation and “pressure cooker” living conditions that were sometimes infested with bed bugs. ..

Mears, along with Serco and Clear Springs Ready Home, is one of three private companies with a contract with the Home Office to manage asylum facilities.

The three companies were awarded £ 4 billion in contracts to provide housing for asylum-seekers until 2029.

In recent weeks, Mears have faced allegations from asylum seekers offering accommodations infested with bed bugs.

We are also faced with a claim from a former employee that during the pandemic that took over the contract in 2019, he rushed to the accommodation to place asylum seekers without completing the necessary checks.

This week, a pregnant woman and a woman with a young baby told BBC Alba in Scotland that she was housed in an oversized room in a housing unit run by Mears in Glasgow. They said they lived in a “pressure cooker” and claimed that lack of ventilation in the room meant that the fire alarm would sound during cooking.

Allegations against the Mears Group have not been independently validated.

The company said on Thursday that it would generate £ 4.7m in pre-tax profit in the second half of the year and expect revenue of £ 413m in the current quarter.

The company said it had achieved “quarterly improvements throughout 2020” and praised its “strong” cash performance.

Mears repaid debt “significantly” that year, and the group adjusted its net cash position of £ 56.9m by December 31, compared to £ 51m in net debt at the end of 2019. He said he did. The sale of Terraquest, the planning division, earned £ 52.5m in December.

CEO David Miles said: “Much of the energy and focus of 2020 was spent addressing the operational challenges posed by Covid-19, but the Group made strong progress against all key strategic goals. That is a pleasure.

“These were to refocus on housing activities, significantly reduce debt and improve the return on invested capital. How well the group made the New Year despite the headwinds of the third national blockade. I’m glad I started. “

Mears shares rose 4.2% Thursday afternoon.

Regarding allegations of insect epidemics, a Mears spokesperson said to the criteria: “Mears has taken all appropriate steps to provide asylum seekers with quality accommodation and assistance during the pandemic. The arrangements during the pandemic are with the NHS and public health advice, and with the Ministry of Interior. It was agreed in consultation. “

“We have taken all appropriate steps to provide asylum-seekers with quality accommodation and support during the pandemic,” a spokeswoman said. “All arrangements during the pandemic are NHS and public health. It was agreed in consultation with the advice of. ” In consultation with the Ministry of Interior. “

In response to a comment to BBC Alba, a spokeswoman for Mears said: “The Mother and Baby Unit is Glasgow’s new dedicated facility to help mothers, babies and vulnerable women.

“The purpose is to provide accommodation with access to health care and other support services, which is designed to best meet the needs of mothers and babies. With investment, the facility has been refurbished to a high standard. After discussing the building in detail with the Glasgow City Council and COSLA, both organizations endorsed the proposal and approved its use through an established protocol.

“Mears works closely with the local NHS team to support the services and support provided to residents. All rooms have private kitchen facilities, private bathrooms and baby baths. Room size Meets contractual guidelines and Grasgow City Council guidelines, and all rooms are well ventilated.

“For fire alarms, we plan to test the fire alarms every Thursday at 11:00 am. The first problem was that the new cookware would emit excess smoke as it burned out through the coating of the elements. This is now completely resolved. “

Housing Group Mears, accused of providing accommodation for “pressure cooker” asylum seekers, makes a profit

Source link Housing Group Mears, accused of providing accommodation for “pressure cooker” asylum seekers, makes a profit

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