Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has been working closely with local partners, landlords and the voluntary sector to provide support for people evacuated from Afghanistan.
At an Extraordinary Council Meeting on Thursday 30 September 2021, Councillors agreed that the council will offer to participate in the Afghan Locally Employed Staff resettlement scheme, and assist up to 5 households under the scheme by making use of accommodation sourced through the Epsom & Ewell Refugee Network.
The council is asking private landlords with vacant, or soon-to-be vacant, three or four-bedroom family homes for rent in the borough, to contact the Epsom & Ewell Refugee Network at firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Alex Coley, Chair of the Council’s Community and Wellbeing Committee, said “Our thoughts are with the Afghan people who have been forced to flee their homes and now face an uncertain future.
“These Afghan families have put themselves at risk for the UK and now it’s the UK’s turn to help them resettle in our communities. We’re now looking for properties in which families can be housed and start to build a new life in Epsom and Ewell.
“We will not use properties intended for local families in housing need to rehouse refugees, which is why we are making this urgent appeal to private landlords.
“Afghan families are traditionally larger than those in England, which gives us some challenges within the borough in finding suitable properties”.
The required properties need to be self-contained, in good condition, located within the borough and have good transport links. In return the council will offer a package to landlords which includes rent in advance plus a deposit. The council will also provide wrap round support to help the family resettle in the area, manage their tenancy and help them find employment.
A Government scheme funds local authorities for refugees. The scheme supports the families to settle in their new community, including placing the children in local schools.