Northampton Chronicle has reported that a local landlady (Lisa Griffin) is offering two of her Northamptonshire properties to Northamptonshire Council in order to house Syrian refugees. Mrs Griffin has appealed to landlords across England to contact their local authority in support of rehousing refugees. Lisa offered her support in response to claims that Northamptonshire Council are willing to help but due to a shortage in housing stock are unable to provide accommodation for families of refugees.
Properties offered to refugees could be used once they are assessed by the the Gateway Protection Programme. “The Gateway Protection Programme is operated by UK Visas and Immigration in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The programme offers a legal route for up to 750 refugees to settle in the UK each year, and is completely separate from the standard procedure for claiming asylum in the UK.”
In light of this positive response from Lisa Griffin, we have suggested some ways our members could also provide support to refugees.
If you are a landlord and are interested in offering your properties to refugees you can do this by:
- Becoming a philanthropic landlord by making your rental properties available for refused asylum seekers to rent at a heavily discounted rate or even FREE. The discounted rent is then usually paid by the charity you sign up with. For example The Action Foundation is always looking for new landlords.
- Purchasing a property with friends and family etc exclusively for destitute people. You could even set up a Crowd Funding or Local Giving project to fund this idea. To could make it available for a small fee or for free. You could also agree to offer support in settling into the local community as part of the project.
If you are interested in sharing your home with individual refugees, for example offering your spare bedroom you can:
- Host refugees in your home through a charity such as Housing Justice who rely on generous people donating their spare rooms. This can be a temporary or permanent arrangement depending on the host’s generosity and the refugees’ needs.
If you are unable to offer refugees shelter why not read one of NREC’s other blogs to find a way that you can support them that compliments your circumstances. For example making a small donation or volunteering.