PRIVATE sector landlords in the Royal Borough have been called on to help provide places for refugees fleeing Afghanistan to call home.

The council has been contacted by a number of landlords asking if they could help the refugee families. But now the council would like to hear from anyone who can make available self-contained housing of any kind.

Support will be provided through the council’s Private Rented Access Scheme, which works with landlords and households who are on a low income or are in receipt of welfare support. The scheme provides landlords and tenants with a range of support services to create sustainable tenancies.

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Under the scheme, landlords can receive free advice on tenancy issues and good letting practice including:

  • Right to Rent guide
  • HMO licences
  • Energy efficiency
  • Deregulation Act 2015
  • Ongoing advice for Landlords through the life of the tenancy and appropriate signposting where required

This follows a ‘successful appeal’ to support Afghan refugees where 1,000 bags of donations, ranging from clothing to toiletries, were given in just two weeks.

1,000 donations including clothing and baby items, have been given to the refugees

1,000 donations including clothing and baby items, have been given to the refugees

The council is participating in the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, providing safe refuge to Afghan staff who supported UK operations and HM Armed Forces in Afghanistan but whose lives are now sadly under serious threat.

Already, the Royal Borough has pledged to take in two Afghan families and is looking to increase this number.

Councillor Ross McWilliams, cabinet member for housing, said: “Since announcing we’d be supporting some of the Afghan refugees in the Royal Borough, we’ve been overwhelmed by the heart-warming response and generosity from the community. Having fled their home country, refugee households are keen to find a safe and stable place to call home and settle within a local community.

“A number of landlords have already got in touch to ask if they could help the refugee families, who themselves supported UK operations and HM Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and so we’re opening up this opportunity to the whole landlord community.

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“Any support is most welcome and will enable us to accommodate further refugee households. Our excellent work with partners to address rough sleeping, homelessness and support people during the pandemic has, of course, had a knock-on impact on the availability of suitable accommodation.

“Whether you’re an experienced landlord or have never let a room before but think you could assist with suitable self-contained accommodation, our Housing Service can support you every step of the way.”

More information on the private rented access scheme or offer housing for refugees can be found by contacting the council’s Private Rented Sector Officer at