Published Thursday, 28th October 2021
We are appealing to private landlords with vacant, or soon-to-be vacant, two, three or four-bedroom homes for rent in the borough, to help us find much-needed homes for Afghan refugee families.
In August, the Council pledged to accommodate and support three refugee families who assisted our British forces and had to flee their homes in Afghanistan. It has been working closely with local partners and the voluntary sector, however, as yet, has been unsuccessful in securing suitable homes for these families to start their new life in the borough.
Can you help?
Cllr Caroline Neame, Executive Member for Housing and Support, said: “These Afghan families put themselves at risk to help our UK Armed Forces and now it’s our turn to help them to start a new life in our community in safety.
“We are urgently looking for properties for three families. Although we had an initial flurry of offers when we announced we would be taking part in the Government’s relocation scheme, unfortunately none of these have come to fruition or proved suitable.
“So, if you have a two, three and four bedroom self-contained property in good lettable condition in the borough and that ideally has good transport links, please contact us. In return the Council will offer a package to landlords which includes rent in advance plus a deposit, funded by the Government. Experienced council staff will support landlords and tenants through the process of resettlement, provide ongoing support for the tenancy and help them find employment through our existing Refugee Support service.
“We are not using properties intended for local families in housing need to rehouse refugees, which is why we are making this wider appeal to private landlords that can assist this small cohort.”
Get in touch
If you can help, please contact us via the enquiry form on our website giving as much information as you can.
The Council is extending its support as part of the Government’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme, a bespoke resettlement scheme for current and former locally employed staff in Afghanistan. The scheme offers priority relocation to the UK to any current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat to life. Further information can be found on the Government fact sheet – ARAP scheme.
The Council’s commitment to resettling refugee families goes beyond providing a place to live. Our Refugee Support team work with a range of partners and voluntary group to help with registering with health services, getting children into local schools, language support, money management, community integration, and finding volunteering and work opportunities.
The Council has previously successfully helped 20 Syrian refugee families resettle in the area through a partnership with Tandridge District Council and Mole Valley District Council, through the Government’s 2015 resettlement scheme. The families have made a significant contribution to community life in Surrey since being resettled.
You can read more about our pledge to support for Afghan refugees in our previous news release.
You can find out more about support for, and how you can support Afghan citizens in Surrey, in these Frequently Asked Questions.