9:36 AM, 13th September 2021, About a month ago 20
There are funds available to LA’s to provide accommodation to Afghani refugees, but they have no properties of their own to offer. Many Social Housing providers (that the LA’s have no choice but to use) have said that incoming Afghans will NOT be treated as a priority over and above the already never-ending list of those needing accommodation.
I asked the two LA’s I deal with for more info – one replied with the following:
We are awaiting further information from the Home Office following their statement about supporting a wider number of refugees from Afghanistan, but had previously been in discussions about the possibility of supporting those Afghans and their families who had worked in various roles for the MOD whilst the military were in situ. These families have been arriving in the UK since July and are the ones in most urgent need of accommodation. Depending on updates from the Home Office, resettlement of a wider number of refugees is likely to take place over an extended period.
Currently, the Home Office is looking for 2+ bed accommodation as they mainly have families to accommodate. This may change going forward.
Once a property has been identified as being suitable by a local authority, it will be offered to the Home Office who will allocate a family. Once the family arrives in the local authority area, they will enter into a standard assured shorthold tenancy with a landlord as you would with any other tenant.
The families will be entitled to claim housing benefit and other benefits. It is likely that they will be subject to the benefit cap, so rents will need to be affordable for the family in line with local housing allowance rates. It is intended that a home will be occupied by a single-family, but there are large families needing accommodation. They will be made aware of their responsibilities under a tenancy agreement. It is hoped that the families will settle in their accommodation and will want to stay longer than the initial period, however, they will be entitled to move if they wish.
Each local authority area will support the family for 12 months to ensure that they are receiving the correct benefits, that they are registered with GPs and schools, that they are linked with the Job Centre to help look for employment and – if necessary – that adults can access English lessons.
Given that the LA’s will be effectively giving NO financial assistance to a PRS Landlord or providing guarantees, are any landlords going to take on additional risk in the current legislative environment?
What responses have others had from their LA? Are there some LA’s offering incentives and if so are you considering them?
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