FOI request details

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Request 18871

29 March 2016

Applicant type: Charity

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I would like to request that you provide me with information on the following:

  • How many Syrian refugees have been resettled into Richmond through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) programme since January 2014.

  • How many Syrian refugees Richmond Council estimates it will request through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) programme in 2016-17.

Response

Advice given - 25 April 2016

1. Zero

2. The council does not have enough social housing to match demand, (and numbers in B&B have risen in the last few months). Our allocations policy is that normally homeless families (mainly local people), would be offered homes in the private rented sector. Recently, even sourcing private rented homes within LHA/ HB limits in London has proved very tough.

Therefore, the council is not in a position to give social housing to any refugees from Syria. However the council has agreed with local church groups that if stable accommodation can be found for refugees at below Housing Benefit levels, the council can arrange support packages, schools etc. By stable housing the accommodation must be available for 5 years, otherwise the reality is that very vulnerable families would end up being evicted and the council would (probably), be forced to place them in B&Bs away from the borough. There are about 20 people working within the churches in a concerted effort to source suitable and stable housing, but it is very difficult to guess how much will be found, or how many refugees the council will be able to support. An estimate of 0-10 is probably reasonable.

Please note that our responses were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of release, and have not subsequently been updated. This information should be considered an historical record only.

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Updated: 13 Apr 2017