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Properties for Afghan families needed right now

Many of our supporters are keen to welcome Afghan refugees to the City but that cannot happen unless they have somewhere to live here.

That’s why we are working closely with Brighton & Hove Council to help find them affordable accommodation.

Currently, they are living in unsuitable, temporary rooms, in crowded conditions and the children unable to go to school. One refugee we know has described living in these places as “like a prison”.

Are you a landlord or do you know one?

We urgently need to find affordable, self-contained homes for them to move into. It’s the first step in helping them to rebuild their lives.

We’ve designed helpful document (click here to save and view the pdf) to explain what we are looking for and what you will receive in return:

What kind of property do we need?

Any self-contained housing between Portslade in the West, Saltdean in the East and Patcham in the North. You will have a direct tenancy with the refugee family as would be the case with any other tenant.

How long should the tenancy be for?

We want to offer refugees a stable start to their lives in the UK, especially if they have children who will go to local schools and colleges. So, we are looking for properties that are available for at least two years and hopefully longer. We can start with a one-year tenancy agreement as a minimum but we very much hope that you will be prepared to renew this.

What is an affordable rent?

Ideally, we need housing that falls within the local housing allowance (LHA) as this is the most sustainable way of housing people who are likely to be reliant on universal credit until they can get a job. However, under the current circumstances, the council is open to negotiation on a case by case basis if rents are higher than the LHA rates. There is funding available to top up rents in some circumstances.

How will rent be paid?

You will receive rent directly, paid into your account by Universal Credit. This can help at the start as new arrivals get used to life in the UK. However, in the long run our aim is for your tenants to become independent and pay their own rent either from their benefits payments or their earnings when they are in employment. Some tenancies will require an additional payment to be made to landlords by the council.

What other help will you receive?

It is a complete free letting service.

✓  Free Inventory
✓  Tenancy Agreement & How to rent booklet
✓  Deposit & Rent in advance covered
✓  Ongoing Advice & Support
✓  Advice & Support with Safety Certificates & right to rent checks

Day to day maintenance and management of the property will remain your responsibility as it would be with other tenants. However, casework support will be available to the family to assist with integration, access to services and adapting to living in UK properties.

What help will tenants receive?

The Afghan refugees now in the UK are entitled to the same range of benefits and services as any other citizen of the UK. They will need some additional help so we have put together a large group of specialist local organisations who stand ready to support the families when they arrive here and help them to settle in the City. As part of that help, we can act as a liaison between you and your new tenants to ensure that process goes smoothly.

Why should you do this?

You will be giving people who have lost everything and currently being held in limbo in unsuitable conditions the opportunity to rebuild their lives. Read what landlord Jo has to say about renting out her property to a refugee family:

“Letting your property to refugees really is a win-win – you get your regular rental payments and a refugee family gets a home. On top of this, the community is enriched by the refugee family’s presence. You benefit, the family benefits, and the community benefits. I can’t recommend it enough.”

What do you do next?

You can contact Paul Hutchings, one of the Sanctuary committee members and he will try to answer any questions or concerns you have. Or you can contact the the Council directly to offer your property.

Photo by Daniele Gerini from Pexels