Oxford City Council Refugees Resettlement Programme

Oxford City Council Refugee Resettlement Programme  VPRS

Oxford City Council is really keen to hear from any landlords who have property they may be willing to rent to a refugee family.

Oxford City council is participating in two Government refugee schemes which aim to resettle vulnerable refugee families in the UK.  The families are mostly from Syria but we have also taken families from Iraq and Sudan.  We aim to support families who have been through terribly traumatic experiences to rebuild their lives here, to become self-reliant and fully integrated into their local communities.

The families are provided with intensive support from Asylum Welcome for the first two weeks after arrival and then support for the next two years (and beyond if necessary) from Connection Floating support.  Oxford City council provides overall coordination of the scheme and can make a good financial offer to prospective landlords in order to provide assurance over rent, initial costs etc.  All families have been through rigorous security checking prior to arriving in the UK.  They come with full refugee status so have the right to work and claim any relevant benefits.

So far 20 families have arrived through the scheme and been accommodated in private rented sector accommodation.  The high rents present a significant hurdle for the families to earn enough money through work to achieve independence.  We have had some landlords who have come forward who are happy to let their properties at Local Housing Allowance rents or sub market rents.  This has been so helpful and we are keen to make contact with more landlords who might be able to help in this way.  Even a small reduction from the market rent can help the families to make a permanent home here.

If you would like any more information on the scheme or think you might be able to help in terms of housing  –  please contact Naomi Winnifrith (SVPRS officer  – Oxford City Council) on 07880 500175 or nwinnifrith@oxford.gov.uk .