In response to the Syrian refugee crisis the Council agreed in October that the Royal Borough should offer to resettle 50 refugees from Syria.
The Council is now working with the RBKC Refugees Welcome Committee to make the necessary arrangements. Chief amongst these is the identification of suitable accommodation. Because of high housing prices and existing pressures on Council and housing association properties the refugees will need to be housed in private rented accommodation. At market rents such accommodation would be too expensive for refugees to afford, so our ability to accept refugees in Kensington and Chelsea rests on the generosity of private sector landlords willing to provide suitable accommodation at lower rents than they would normally charge. Because of the depth of public sympathy and support for Syrian refugees’ plight the Council and the Welcome Committee are hopeful that such offers will emerge.
Once suitable housing is identified the Council will work with other public services and with the wide range of local individuals and organisations who have offered to assist the refugees. Our aim will be to provide the range of services, support and help that the refugees need to provide them with the best possible start to life in the Royal Borough. A meeting between the Council and Refugee Welcome Committee representatives to design a suitable programme for the refugees will be held in February.
For Syrian children arriving alone in the UK a London-wide scheme is in place whereby Councils (including the Royal Borough) will look after these children, placing them with foster carers or in children’s homes and supporting them to attend school or college and become integrated into the community.
The RBKC Refugees Welcome Committee is made up of faith organisations, voluntary and community groups and other local organisations such as schools and colleges, who are working in partnership to provide a coordinated local response to the Syrian refugee crisis.
Landlords interested in offering suitable accommodation in the Royal Borough at affordable rents should get in touch with the Council’s Syrian Refugee contact via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7361 3008.
If you would like to know more about or get involved in the work of the Kensington and Chelsea Refugees Welcome Committee, contact Migrants Organise (formerly the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum) at email@example.com or on 020 8964 4815.