A council is making an urgent appeal to private landlords with vacant, or soon-to-be vacant, three or four-bedroom family homes for rent.
A spokesperson for Epsom & Ewell council in Surrey, which is working on the issue with a local refugee network, says: “Our thoughts are with the Afghan people who have been forced to flee their homes and now face an uncertain future.
“These Afghan families have put themselves at risk for the UK and now it’s the UK’s turn to help them resettle in our communities. We’re now looking for properties in which families can be housed and start to build a new life in Epsom and Ewell.
“We will not use properties intended for local families in housing need to rehouse refugees, which is why we are making this urgent appeal to private landlords.
“Afghan families are traditionally larger than those in England, which gives us some challenges within the borough in finding suitable properties”.
The required properties need to be self-contained, in good condition, located within the borough boundaries and have good transport links.
In return the council will offer a package to landlords which includes rent in advance plus a deposit. The council will also provide what it calls “wrap round support” to help the family resettle in the area, manage their tenancy and help them find employment.
A government scheme funds local authorities for refugees. The scheme supports the families to settle in their new community, including placing the children in local schools.
Anyone who can help is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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