As a Christian charity, we believe that there should always be some ‘room at the Inn’. Sadly, one of the biggest hurdles that we face in helping refugee families integrate into our community is a lack of accommodation.
It’s time to dispel some myths
What is the truth about refugees?
- They are here legally and have access to public funds
- They are allowed to work
- They can claim housing benefit and other welfare support
- They usually don’t have a guarantor
Why should a landlord rent a property to a newly arrived refugee?
For many of us, the idea of leaving everything behind and fleeing to an unknown country is something that we will, hopefully, never have to experience. The stress, upheaval and loss experienced by refugees is unimaginable. So, a compassionate landlord can make the transition and process of settling in the UK far easier.
Having a home enables refugees to integrate, find work, pay taxes, and continue to contribute to society. It allows them to rebuild the lives that they had to leave behind.
The refugee families that ICN works with are respectful, grateful, and take good care of the homes that they are provided with.
Why is it so difficult to find housing?
It’s not that there is a shortage of 2 or 3 bedroom properties to rent in Dorset, it’s just that they are inaccessible to refugee families because:
- Many landlords are unwilling to accept tenants who claim benefits
- Large, upfront fees and deposits are required (approximately £1800 for a 2 bedroom house; deposit, first month’s rent in advance, agency fees)
- A guarantor is required
I’m a landlord. How can I help?
ICN is always on the lookout for compassionate landlords who are willing to rent their properties to refugee families.
Under the UKRS (UK Resettlement Scheme), families in a 2 or 3 bedroom flat/house can claim housing benefit, which is paid directly by the local council to the landlord. The upfront costs, rent in advance, and agency fees are paid too. This means that you know that you will always receive your rent regularly and on time.
How can ICN help landlords?
ICN is happy to recommend tenants and provide interpreters so you can communicate effectively.
Although it is your responsibility to manage your property, we provide ongoing support with regular visits. This means that you can feel assured that there is someone there to oversee any potential vulnerabilities and ensure that your tenant can maintain their tenancy.