Report reveals Lichfield District Council could spend £750,000 on new homes for Syrian refugees

Lichfield District Council could spend £750,000 on buying properties to house Syrian refugees, according to a new report.

The option is one of four due to be discussed by the local authority’s Cabinet at a meeting next week.

The offices of Lichfield District Council. Pic: Lichfield District Council

The offices of Lichfield District Council. Pic: Lichfield District Council

The council has agreed to to join efforts to offer a home for those fleeing the conflict in their homeland as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to take in 20,000 Syrians.

As well as the option to purchase five homes specifically for the five families, the council is also considering:

  • Using the current homelessness system to allocate properties.
  • Working with social housing providers to identify properties.
  • Working with private landlords to house the families.
Colin Greatorex

Cllr Colin Greatorex

A report by Cllr Colin Greatorex, Cabinet member for housing, indicated that none of the private landlords contacted so far said they would be willing to take in refugee families – and warned that other options could also raise concerns about fairness from those currently waiting for housing in Lichfield and Burntwood.

But he said the council would need to consider all solutions.

“The role of the District Council is to identify suitable accommodation for for the refugees,” Cllr Greatorex said. “Refugees will be classed as homeless when they arrive in the UK and would meet the criteria to be assessed as statutorily homeless, where the council would have a duty to provide accommodation.

“The refugees will arrive with ‘refugee status’, which means they will be eligible for housing, benefits, education and health care.

“They will also be eligible to find work and access welfare benefits.”

The first 12 months of resettlement costs will be fully funded by the Government, while a further pot of money has been pledged to contribute towards costs beyond then.

But Cllr Greatorex’s report admits the solution of how to house the families is not a simple one.

“Identifying a preferred option at this time is difficult as there are still many uncertainties about ho the scheme will operate and the timescale in which the accommodation will be required to be provided.

“The provision of accommodation for refugees is a sensitive issue which could cause unrest within the local community.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

8 Comments

  1. FiveSpiresLive

    8th January, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Popcorn time

  2. Nomad

    13th January, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Criminal

  3. Thornton

    13th January, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    @Nomad. Couldn’t agree more, should be more like £1m to house 5 families.

  4. Nomad

    14th January, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Well that’s the kind of ridiculous statement, I’ve cone to expect ,nothing surprises me anything to take away from the people in this country who need help ,families relying on food banks,children homeless,the elderly choosing between food or heating and you’d rather house people who have never paid a penny a to our tax system make me vomit

  5. Toast of Lichfield

    14th January, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Money that could be better spent teaching Nomad & his chums basic English writing skills!

  6. Nomad

    14th January, 2016 at 11:31 am

    What a joke when something as trivial as correcting grammar gets a mention,not a bad effort in the pitch black I felt,but of course as ever you try and distract from the issue.

  7. Nomad

    14th January, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    So pertinent question time,are they just Syrian refugees? Will they be families or single men?,how will this be paid for what cuts will be made to local services to pay for there relocation?,how will they be integrated lets not forget they come from a culture that has no affinity to our own.

  8. Jersey Bean

    15th January, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Lichfield i understand is very much like my native Jersey used to be where there is/was a lack of social housing for local people but that changed here some 3/4 decades ago where a lot of social housing,flats & maisonettes were built just east of St Helier to house the growing local population during the baby boom years.The estate is very well maintained to this day and still only provides those born in Jersey.If you came to work and live from the UK mainland in Jersey it used to be 20 years of paying our Island national insurance before you would be considered for anything social be it benefits or housing,this has now been laxed to 10 years.My point being by joining this debate is why is the mainland UK so open to give to those that have never given and to give to those that have never contributed ?