Wandsworth ready to support Afghan refugees

Published: Friday, August 20, 2021

Wandsworth Council is ready to play a full part in the Government’s plan to welcome Afghan refugees into the country.

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The council is already in conversations with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) and the Home Office about the support it could provide to those fleeing danger in Afghanistan and is awaiting further details of the Government’s planned resettlement scheme.

Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: “The unfolding events in Afghanistan have touched us all and Wandsworth is ready to play its part in welcoming people displaced from Afghanistan into the borough.

“Wandsworth has a long and proud history of welcoming migrants, from the Huguenots in the 17th century onwards. Most recently, it has supported the Syrian Refugee scheme, under which it has facilitated the resettlement of 51 people in 12 families since October 2016, securing them accommodation and supporting their integration into education and employment.

“We know that the borough’s Afghan community are particularly concerned at this difficult time and we are now waiting for more detail from the Government to arrange whatever assistance is required.”

Meanwhile the Council is requesting that residents, businesses, or other landlords who could offer a property for new arrivals to rent register their details. The Government has indicated that the refugees are likely to be families, and so the Council is particularly keen to hear from those able to offer 3 and 4 bed properties. 

Properties will need to be available to rent on an assured shorthold tenancy for a minimum of 12 months, with rent levels set within the limits of the local housing allowance.

For more information please contact landlordlettings@wandsworth.gov.uk or call 020 8871 7333.

People who want to help can also contact the Refugee Council, the British Red Cross or Refugee Action to find out more about volunteering to support asylum seekers and refugees already in the UK.