News

Private landlords needed to house Syrian refugee families in Lewisham – can you help?

Monday, March 6, 2017 - Lewisham Council

Lewisham Council have announced that the first two Syrian refugee families have arrived in the borough as part of their commitment to take 10 refugee families under the Home Office and United Nations backed Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme.

The families, who arrived in February 2017, are from the Daraa and Rif Dimashq regions in Syria and are being given education, health and housing support.

Lewisham refugees welcome 2017

The families have also received many offers of English language support from local groups including the Afghan and Central Asian Association, Action for Refugees in Lewisham, Catford Community Church, Holy Trinity Centre, Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network, St Margaret’s Church and Lewisham Citizens, who have offered to buy them English-Arabic dictionaries.

The families will be housed in properties offered by residents who specifically wish to help refugees.

The council are now appealing for more landlords to come forward and offer their properties for rent as part of the programme to help families fleeing the brutal Syrian civil war. London Property Licensing is delighted to help promote this initiative and encourage landlords to take part.

Councillor Kevin Bonavia, Lewisham Cabinet Member for Resources, said:

It’s been so heartwarming to see the way that Syrian refugee families have been welcomed in our borough. Our residents are giving the refugee families fantastic support from new furniture to language lessons.

I know Lewisham residents will have been appalled by the ordeal of refugees from Syria and other war torn countries and will want to do their bit. I want to appeal to anyone with an empty property that could be used to house a refugee family to contact us. We need properties that will give refugee families the chance to rebuild their lives here.

Offers of accommodation from the local voluntary and community sector have already been made, and help is now needed to find private rented homes to house the refugee families. Anyone who rents their property to a refugee families will be paid at Local Housing Allowance rates.

Landlords who are interested in finding out more the scheme should email: svpr@lewisham.gov.uk

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