Supporting refugees who need independent housing

Refugees

Britain has a proud tradition of accepting people from all around the world many of whom have fled persecution in their home country. The UK’s history and success would be very different without the enterprise and skills of those who have come to settle here. Refugees possess a wealth of knowledge and talent that can contribute socially, economically and culturally to shaping communities.

Refugees come to Britain because they are fleeing persecution in their own country. In many cases they feel quite isolated as they are separated from their family and friends and, in many cases, speak little or no English.

Plymouth’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis

In September 2015 the Government announced that the UK would be providing sanctuary to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. For more information on the national scheme visit the GOV.UK website.

Plymouth, as both a welcoming city and a dispersal city for asylum seekers, has a history of supporting those fleeing war and natural disaster from around the world. Plymouth City Council, in common with other local authorities, will play an important role in the initiative to support Syrian refugees

The Council has agreed that Plymouth should take approximately 25 families over 3 years. We will continue to accommodate these families in private rented sector accommodation and strike a fair balance between meeting their needs and those of the already resident community.

Refugees welcomed to Plymouth through the scheme will be treated with fairness and respect and will be supported to access opportunities to contribute to and benefit from being part of city’s future. In the long term, refugees will benefit Plymouth through their economic contribution and by increasing the diversity of our city. We hope and expect that the whole community will work together to ensure they are supported to enjoy a happy, healthy, and safe quality of life.

Landlords – how you can help

To fulfil Plymouth’s pledge to resettle at least 28 Syrian refugee families, more than anything else we need self-contained homes for refugee families. We are looking for independent accommodation – houses or flats – where families can live independent and productive lives.

Renting your property to be used by a Syrian refugee family has a number of benefits. The rent may not be as high as you could get on the open market, but your council and their partners will make all the arrangements so you have peace of mind:

  • The council will offer to manage the property through it’s Easylet scheme and take on all dealings with the resettled families.
  • The council may be able to help with one-off expenses to get the property ready.
  • The rent will normally be based on the local housing allowance rates.
  • If a property is unoccupied when the landlord offers it to the council, the council will pay up to 8 weeks’ rent until the family arrives.

If you are a landlord who would consider renting a property to accommodate a refugee family – or you know someone who is – please get in touch with us by email easylet@pathdevon.org or phone us on 01725 398246 and let us know where your property is. We will arrange for someone to talk about what we and you would need to do to bring your property into the scheme.

Houses or flats, not rooms

We know that some people would like to offer spare rooms. We are grateful for these offers, but the government requires that we provide self-contained housing where families can lead independent lives.