Community sponsorship of refugees: finding a philanthropic landlord

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    Dear all, this is my first post: greetings from London. I would welcome advice. My Quaker community is part of an inter-faith group which is well underway with plans for community sponsorship of a refugee family in the London Borough of Redbridge. The project has conditional Home Office approval and all is going well with one exception: the big challenge is to find a philanthropic landlord in Redbridge, with a house for letting at Local Housing Allowance (Housing Benefit) rates. Public housing cannot be used. Can anyone advise or put us in touch with an ethical landlord? Thanks for any thoughts on this matter. Jan Sellers



    Hi Jan, this is great news for your project. I take it you’ve done local publicity through everyone involved as volunteers, or in any other capacity, in local refugee support projects? As you haven’t had any responses so far in this Forum I’m going to check out if anyone on our committee has any suggestions, e.g. through any local landlords’ groups. I hope we can come up with some pointers for you.



    Dear Jan
    My instinct would be to use the contacts you have through the inter-faith group. Within the organisations they represent there are likely to be many individuals who are landlords owning property in Redbridge. Ask the different groups to make the need known to their members asking if anyone has a property they are willing to make available. You are more likely to get offers if you can show that the rent, even at LHA rates, will be guaranteed in some form and how the family will be supported so as to minimise any problems. There is a lot of goodwill towards refugees in many faith groups as you already know.

    You could also see if your local council has a Landlords Forum which meets periodically. if so, they might be agreeable to your going along to make the need known. However, the council is usually looking for homes for homeless families to rent at LHA rates so any landlords at the forum, prepared to consider below market rents, may have already partnered with the council.

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