MP wins battle over unfit accommodation

About 300 asylum seekers have been moved from
accommodation condemned by Liverpool Council as unfit for human
habitation, following a three-year campaign by a local MP.

Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool
Riverside, said she had begun the campaign to end the use of the
properties, owned by private company Landmark and Inn on the Park,
after receiving numerous complaints from asylum seekers and
voluntary groups.

The 14-storey tower blocks made national
headlines last summer after some of residents went on hunger strike
over the conditions, which included poor heating, windows that
would not shut and broken lifts. The asylum seekers had also
complained about overcrowding and intimidation by the landlord.

The Home Office has decided not to place any
new asylum seekers in the flats.

Ellman said she had complained about the
properties many times over the past three years and was “totally
dissatisfied” by the National Asylum Support Service, which had
either failed to inspect the accommodation or had drawn up an
unacceptable contract with Landmark.

But a spokesman for the Home Office said Nass
had liaised closely with the private provider and had “not found
the tower blocks to be unsuitable”.

He added that Landmark had moved the asylum
seekers to some of its other properties.

But Ellman said she would continue to ask
questions about the accommodation that the asylum seekers had been
moved to.

Landmark declined to comment.

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