Plea for public to be allowed to house refugees

Web refugees welcome

​Charity has registered 3,500 residents willing to take someone in to their home

Paul Cardwell's photo

5th August 2016 by Paul Cardwell 1 Comment

A Scottish refugee and migrant housing charity is calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to allow UK citizens to take Syrian refugees in to their own homes.

So far only 1,602 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Great Britain since September 2015, way short of the 5,000 target set out.

Positive Action in Housing (PAiH) says this is not good enough and is urging May to makes use of its Room for Refugees scheme to help those in urgent need.

PAiH in partnership with 147 caseworkers from refugee support agencies including the British Red Cross and the Refugee Council has registered 3,500 hosts throughout the country willing and waiting to house a refugee.

Already they have been hosting some Syrians, many of whom are students or are attempting to achieve refugee status.

We call on the British government to harness the goodwill of those individuals and families who are willing to take refugees into their homes

However due to the government not allowing the project to register on its vulnerable persons relocation (VPR) scheme they have not been able to fully help.

It’s estimated that over 4,000 refugees have drowned trying to reach Europe, partly because they are taking more dangerous routes as a result of being denied safe passage by Europe.

Europol says more than 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children have disappeared in Europe during the past two years with many feared to have been forced into sex trafficking rings or forced labour.

As home secretary May previously told the Home Affairs Select Committee she would “consider” schemes such as PAiH, but nothing has been heard since and instead the scheme continues to rely on local authorities.

To put pressure on the government the charity has now started a petition on the website.

A spokesperson for PAiH said if the government allows it to register, then the country would be able to bring more people in quicker.  

She said: “We think the British government needs to utilise the goodwill of those of its citizens who have the space to take refugees into their homes. We have thousands of families and individuals who are ready to open their homes and hearts to refugees in need. Many hundreds have expressed a willingness to take in unaccompanied child refugees. Many of these are registered foster-carers.

“Room for refugees has the capacity to accommodate Syrian and other refugees in every part of the UK, effectively bypassing those local authorities who have not registered with the home office under the VPR Scheme.

“We therefore call on the British government to harness the goodwill of those individuals and families who are willing to take refugees into their homes and quickly resettle Syrian refugees so that they may begin the process of rebuilding their lives.”

7th August 2016 by Robert McCall

Interesting but lacking in information, PAIH may have covered all concerns and if they have the message needs to get out there. Are the hosts vetted for suitability? If so by whom? Are the refugees similarly vetted? Have all risks been fully considered? Are there HMO and insurance requirements? It cannot be as easy as opening the door and saying °come away in, have a cup of tea". . This is Scotland 2016 Holyrood needs to step forward and take the lead here.