[Please note the following distinctions: An asylum seeker is a person who has sought protection as a refugee, but whose claim for refugee status has not yet been assessed. A refugee is someone who has the right to settle in the UK often as part of an humanitarian process and protection.]

The largest humanitarian crisis in the world today is the Syrian Crisis. The Government has a scheme to take some of the most vulnerable refugees from makeshift camps in countries like Jordan, where they have lived for much of the five-year civil war.

As part of this scheme, the local resettlement project is seeking accommodation. You might be a property owner who wishes to be involved. If you are a private landlord and wish to register your interest in making a self-contained property available to rent at a fair market rate, please click here to send us a ‘Housing Enquiry’ message or see the section below about our ‘Just One House’ scheme.

JUST ONE HOUSE – The way forward for getting homes ready

To scale up our work furnishing homes for families to move into, we are now work with faith groups, businesses, schools, clubs or other organisations who can commit to getting involved with kitting out ‘Just One House’.  As of May 2017 we have six groups committed already, i.e. taking responsibility for six houses.  We will be looking for more to get going later in the year or during 2018.

Each group can build up a level of commitment that suits them.  The basic level of involvement simply entails raising the money for kitting out a house with new items – £3,500.  You can then hand the funds to us and our experienced team will do the rest. Alternatively, a group could procure all of the items needed (and we will supply the list) by asking their friends, colleagues and families to donate their unwanted items – they’ll need to raise a small amount of cash too, as some items will be required new.  And they need to find somewhere to store all the items and keep them safely until they are required. We would provide guidance and oversee the process. If the group is really keen, it could also commit to getting the house ready.

So, could you encourage your workmates, or your local mosque, church, synagogue, scouts group or choir (for example) to get together all that’s needed for ‘Just One House’?  Can you find a leader, get yourselves organised, raise some money and find a store?  If so then please contact us by sending an email directly to furnishings@rwmk.org.uk

Other ideas and questions regarding housing

I am, or I know a refugee, asylum seeker or person with housing needs who needs advice or help

*please note some of these services have eligibility criteria

Are there any people in eligible housing need that will be displaced by refugees coming to Milton Keynes?

No. Support for the Syrian refugees comes from an additionally funded programme. The Council resolved in September 2015 that Milton Keynes should take its fair share, agreeing to join the Government programme as a full participant.

Will the Council use its housing powers to accommodate refugees, so they get a service ‘out of turn’?

No. Council Housing will not be used, but this small group of refugee families will be helped with accommodation. Although refugees and asylum seekers are in need, they are not eligible for homelessness support from the Council. Instead, they need the support of local people and the national government to find their feet after years of difficulties.

Can accommodation be offered for other refugees, asylum seekers or those Milton Keynes residents in temporary accommodation?

Yes. This is possible, although some issues may arise and details may be shared with the appropriate Council department. If you are a private landlord and wish to register your interest in making a self-contained property available to rent at a fair market rate, please click here to send us a ‘Housing Enquiry’ message.