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Desperate calls for generous Haringey residents to host Syrian refugees

PUBLISHED: 09:59 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:59 06 December 2016

Campaign group Refugees Welcome Haringey have fought long and hard for Haringey to take Syrian refugees. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Campaign group Refugees Welcome Haringey have fought long and hard for Haringey to take Syrian refugees. Photo: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Haringey Council agreed to take in 10 families earlier this month, but is now calling for kind-hearted homeowners to find space to host them

Council leader Claire Kober said: “I know people across Haringey have been shocked at the suffering in Syria and will want to do their bit to help.

“If you have an empty property please consider renting it to a Syrian refugee family.

“Your generosity could make a huge difference to their lives.”

Landlords who feel able to host a Syrian refugee family will receive Local Housing Allowance (LHA) support, and so would be taking less than if they were to rent their property privately.

Lucy Nabijou of campaign group Refugees Welcome Haringey has been working over the last 14 months to persuade landlords and letting agents to offer shelter.

As the refugees will arrive in family groups, the group says it would be helpful to have properties with three or four bedrooms.

Several landlords have already been in contact with the group.

Ms Nabijou said she was delighted Haringey agreed to take Syrian refugees. “We’re very heartened. Loads of people have written to us and said: ‘It’s so good to hear some good news from our community.’ It’s this sense of the community coming together.”

People have also offered other skills for refugees, such as English lessons.

The Home Office decides when refugees will arrive in the borough.

The refugees will come from the UK’s Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme, only open to Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon and Jordan.

Priority is given to survivors of torture, women and girls at risk, the disabled and those at risk because of their sexual orientation among other groups.

The government said it intends to resettle up to 20,000 Syrians over the next five years.

Neighbouring Camden Council has already resettled eight families (30 people). They are committed to resettling up to 20 families (about 80 people).

Barnet Council will resettle 50 Syrian refugees, with 31 already found homes.

Anyone who could house a Syrian refugee family is asked to email landlords@haringey.gov.uk or call 020 8489 4527.

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