St Albans council on the hunt for landlords to help welcome refugees into the district

St Albans district council is appealing for landlords

St Albans district council is appealing for landlords

Archant

Hopes of welcoming refugees to St Albans and Harpenden from March could be jeopardised as the council has yet to secure landlords.

St Albans district council has agreed to help ten refugee families St Albans district council has agreed to help ten refugee families

St Albans district council has agreed to support 10 refugee families a year for up to five years and has worked with neighbouring authorities to source funding from the Home Office.

But despite other formalities being finalised, there is still a need for landlords to come forward.

Difficulties are rooted in the inability to secure references as the council have not been told which refugee families are coming to the district.

St Albans council’s head of housing, Karen Dragovic, said: “Significant progress has been made towards fulfilling the council’s commitment to taking in Syrian refugees.

“We have fulfilled most of the conditions of the Home Office scheme apart from securing suitable accommodation from the private rented sector.

“That needs to be done before any Syrian refugees are relocated in the district and we have approached letting agents and landlords, holding meetings and talks with them.

“Our search is continuing and we would once again appeal to landlords who have properties available to get in touch with us.”

The council will pay market rent over the long-term, and if a breakthrough is made in the coming weeks, the district will be able to receive the first refugees towards the end of March.

Interested landlords are asked to email housingoptionsgroup@stalbans.gov.uk or telephone 01727 819355.

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