IT has been claimed “local arrangements” are to blame for leaving 330 asylum seekers facing homelessness. Home Office contractor Serco made the claim yesterday in a letter to Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken.

Aitken is amongst 12 signatories to a letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid urging action to halt the eviction programme announced by Serco.

She is also amongst the players behind an emergency taskforce which is considering legal challenges to the move.

READ MORE: Home Secretary and Serco under growing pressure over Glasgow asylum seekers

But in a defence of its performance yesterday, the company said it is not to blame and instead stated: “The one positive outcome of the events of recent days is that it has put very firmly on people’s agenda the nature of the crisis. That is that the local arrangements once Home Office support has ceased are inadequate, and we are forced into the impossible position of having to make the choice of paying for people’s accommodation ourselves, or making them homeless and destitute.”

The criticism comes despite the legal bar preventing the local authority from providing asylum seeker accommodation. This was privatised across the UK in 2012 in a move expected to save taxpayers £150 million.

Meanwhile, one charity in Glasgow – which does not receive Home Office dispersal programme funding – has confirmed its lifeline grants pot has run dry amidst unmanageable demand. Payouts from the Refugee Survival Trust (RST) will be suspended at the end of the month due to lack of money. The team has made emergency pay-outs worth more than £130,000 in the past 12 months to people in the Greater Glasgow area.

The sum is twice that given out two years ago and RST coordinator Zoe Holliday says the five-person team cannot cope with demand.

The change removes a “safety net” worth a maximum of two £36-a-week payments for adults.

READ MORE: Home Office’s outsourcing of the asylum system is a UK scandal

Many of those supported by RST – including children – have won refugee status and secured the right to live in the UK. But red tape delays in moving them on to mainstream benefits after asylum support ends can leave them penniless.

The switch can take weeks to happen, with RST one of the only bodies providing emergency help.

Now only new funding worth £11,000 can keep the cash pot open into September.

Reserves have dropped below the one-month limit and Holliday told The National: “It’s horrible.

“We are such a small charity. It’s amazing how long we have been able to keep going with the increased demand, because it’s just not abating.

“For more than 15 months we have had more than £10,000 distributed, and sometimes significantly more.

“We have got applications in the pipeline for more funding but we just have to wait for the outcome.

“In the meantime, we have had to inform our partners that it is very likely the destitution grants programme will be suspended at the end of August.”

RST will continue to take donations to the programme and all monies will go to would-be refugees who are cut off from state aid.

READ MORE: Read in full the letter sent to Sajid Javid urging him to act on Serco's plans

Holliday said: “This is an emergency pot, but we have helped hundreds of people and they are all in greater Glasgow. It’s deeply concerning and points to a lot of problems with the asylum system. Our grants are always given as a last resort, when no other support is available to the asylum seeker in question. It does not bear thinking about what compromising situations these individuals and families may be forced into, without this important safety net.”

Serco says it is acting “fully within the law and the requirements” of its contract.

The Home Office says those given refugee status have “immediate and unrestricted access to the labour market and many mainstream benefits”.