Landlords in the heart of the London commuter belt are being asked to come forward if they can provide accommodation for Afghan refugees.
St Albans council is committed to initially resettling at least three refugee families, around 20 people, as part of a government scheme. In the longer term it plans to match or exceed its achievement with Syrian refugees when 50 people were resettled.
The council is now looking for suitable properties within the District’s private rented sector for the Afghans.
Ideally, these homes should have three bedrooms or more although smaller properties will be considered. Tenancy agreements should be for at least a year.
Councillor Jacqui Taylor says: “We are determined to do our bit for the refugees who have fled persecution in Afghanistan and I am sure our community will support this humanitarian effort.
“One major problem that we have is finding suitable accommodation in the private rented sector where we know there is both high demand and high rents.
“This is why we are appealing to private landlords in the district to assist us with this extremely good cause. They will be helping people who would have risked being killed by the Taliban if they had stayed behind.
“These might be women and young girls, people who had worked for the British Army or were members of minority ethnic and religious groups. If you think you have got something suitable at market rent, then, please contact us.”
The council is working with a number of other agencies on resettlement including Hertfordshire County Council and the Refugee Council.
Refugees will be given long-term assistance with language skills, education, employment and other issues they are faced with as they settle in the UK.
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