Richmond Council ready to offer homes to Afghan refugees
20 August 2021
The Leader of Richmond Council, Councillor Gareth Roberts, has joined the people of Richmond upon Thames in voicing their sadness and concern for the people of Afghanistan, and confirmed the Council’s commitment to supporting those fleeing their homes and seeking safety in the UK.
The Council is in early discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Home Office about the support it can provide to house Afghan refugees and is awaiting further guidance.
Councillor Roberts said:
“What is happening in Afghanistan is both shocking and heartbreaking. My first thoughts are with the Afghan people who are being forced to flee their homes, but also with those members of our communities who have loved ones in Afghanistan and will be concerned about their whereabouts and safety.
“This Council has always done everything in its power to welcome refugees to Richmond upon Thames, support their settlement in the UK and enable their integration into local communities, most recently with the settlement of Syrian families between 2016-19.
“Settlement of refugees in appropriate communities with appropriate support is complex and is rightly being coordinated at a national level. We are currently awaiting guidance from the Government in terms of refugees arriving from Afghanistan and will support that scheme once details are finalised.
“There are plenty of ways people in our borough can help. We are urging any private landlords to get in touch if they would like to offer their property to rent to refugees and we have lots of links available for individuals who would like to offer financial support or find out more about supporting refugees in the UK.”
The Council is requesting that residents, businesses, or other landlords who could offer a property for new arrivals to rent to register their details. The Government has indicated that the refugees are likely to be families, and so the Council is particularly keen to hear from those able to offer three and four bed properties. Properties will need to be available to rent on an assured shorthold tenancy for a minimum of 12 months, with rent levels set within the limits of the local housing allowance.
You can also find out more by visiting Refugee Action.
Up to: August 2021
Updated: 12 October 2021