The UK government this week committed to accepting 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan (although only 5,000 this year) as thousands flee the humanitarian crisis after the Taliban seized control of the country. Sparks fly whenever the issue of refugees and asylum seekers arises in the UK and much of the debate has focused on one question: where will they live?
Some Brits have stood up to offer spare homes and accommodation – Refugees At Home reported on Friday that 250 volunteers had stepped forwarded to host incoming refugees. But now a social enterprise that specialises in bringing empty homes back into use to house refugees has made an appeal to landlords and second-home owners to act as Afghan refugees head to the UK.
Finding #GoodNewsFriday is hard again. But we take some comfort from the over 250 volunteers who have signed up to host, all over the UK, this week. And those who help organise it and other support for people who need it. #LookForTheHelpersNotTheHaters #RefugeesWelcome pic.twitter.com/jOSfKgynq9
— Refugees at Home???? (@RefugeesAtHome) August 20, 2021
ACH, a social enterprise specialising in renovating homes to house refugees as well as providing support and integration services, has urged people with second homes and private landlords to step forward and work with them to bring empty homes back into use.
“It’s a win, win, win,” ACH founder Fuad Mahamed told The Big Issue. “This is the time to appeal to landlords with available properties and to appeal to people with second homes to work with social landlords, local governments, people like us to bring their property back to use.
“It will make a difference and it makes commercial sense and business sense. We’re not asking you to give it to us on a charitable basis, it will never be for free. We are here to help to bring this property, not only into the market, but also to earn some money contributing to society.”