Home for a refugee family in London

Hi there - i volunteer for a group in London (Haringey) working to sponsor a refugee family to resettle in the UK. We can pay market rates but we are struggling to find a property in London.

Can anyone recommend any landlords who might be able to help or any forums to explore this?

I would be very grateful for any suggestions.

Many thanks

The situation as you describe it isn’t entirely clear. Are these asylum seekers who have been granted asylum and therefore already in the UK and now with refugee status or are these potential resettled refugees who have yet to arrive in the UK?

Try talking to English for Action. They’re London based and although EFA focus on English teaching and social action, they might know of people/charities that work with helping to housing asylum seekers and refugees.

I know two charities who do this specifically (we rent a property to refugees through one and I run training with the other) but they’re in the northeast of England so little help to you I’m afraid.

Hi there
I wanted to do this but my borough (Bexley) never got back to me to even discuss this. I have a 2 bed flat right next to Belvedere Station which is about to become available again. My parents rent to refugees in Gloucester so I’m familar with the process.
Let me know if interested.
Thanks
Ella

Hi there - thanks for this and sorry for my slow reply. The family has refugee status and approval by the Home Office to come to the UK subject to us finding a suitable home. I’ll get in touch with English for Action. Many thanks

I have to say that, in my experience, that seems an unusual condition for a safe and legal route for resettled refugee status. Typically, these refugees arrive complete with a funding package that allows the receiving local authority to immediately house them. Relying on a member of the general public to house them doesn’t fit with the normal resettled refugee pathway. Do mention all this to EFA or whoever they might recommend you talk to.

I agree. It would be much better if we could be supporting the council, who have access to homes. This scheme works best when the group already has a home they can offer.

Safe and legal? I can’t even imagine how this would happen? I think there are very few refugees arriving safe and legal, they can become legal, but need a safe place to live whilst they apply to be. To be housed by a charity or otherwise they will either be refugees with settled status or seeking asylum seekers, seeking asylum.

Have a quick search online for “resettled refugee programmes” and you should get some answers. These are the only “safe and legal” routes for refugees to come to the UK currently. Examples include the Homes for Ukraine scheme as well as refugees from Hong Kong and Afghanistan.

Tom’s description fits that of resettled refugees. They gain their refugee status before they arrive in the UK and are able to work, rent accommodation and have full access to the benefits system upon arrival.

You’re right that the numbers are small. In the year ending December 2023, the UK accepted only 632 individuals who were not either from Ukraine (50,000+ people) or British Nationals Overseas (e.g. Hong Kong - 36,000+ people).

Are you aware that the government passed legislation in 2023 that decreed that anyone who arrives on a small boat across the channel is unable to apply for asylum and therefore unable to legalise their status?

Are you also aware that the government has recently been discovered breaking its own law in this regard by allowing approx 15,000 individuals who have since arrived on small boats to apply for asylum?

It’s a complete mess!

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Hi Ella - many thanks for this. We are looking for somewhere closer to our community (in Haringey) but great to know that you are interested in doing this. There is a group that supports refugee families to resettle - they are called RESET (https://resetuk.org/) - and they may know of a group in your area.