The Chair of London Councils has called on Londoners to offer up homes to families fleeing violence in Syria.
Speaking at the London Councils Summit on Saturday, Cllr Claire Kober OBE – said their are simply not enough properties available to house families who will arrive under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme.
Under the scheme, the Government intends to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK by 2020. The lack of affordable housing for refugee families in the capital is a huge barrier to sustainable resettlement. Funding is limited by both the cap on Local Housing Allowance rates and the cap on total benefits, making it especially difficult to find properties for larger refugee families.
Cllr Kober, who took over as Chair of London Councils in July and is the first woman to ever hold the role, said: “We have all been appalled by the suffering we’ve seen on our TV screens from Syria and I know many people want to do more to help. Now is their chance.
“Londoners have already been incredibly generous, offering up donations of money and volunteering their services. But we now need more houses for Syrian refugees to call home.
“If you have an empty property in London that you’d be willing to rent out, I urge you to contact your council. You may not have let the property out before but – if it is filled – your generosity could make a huge difference to a refugee family. “
Those letting out their homes would receive rent at Local Housing Allowance rates, which can be as much as £417 a week for a four bedroom property.
Councillor Kober is available for interview. Call the London Councils press office on 020 7934 9970 or lcpres[email protected]