19 October 2017  Hijri Date: 29 محرم 1439
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HOMES FOR SYRIANS
26/02/2016

Homes for Syrians (www.homesforsyrians.uk) matches Home-Office-approved Syrian refugees with UK host families. The hosts offer free accommodation, a warm welcome, stability, and practical support. 

Richard Moore has set-up and have run Homes for Syrians single-handedly since September of last year, in response to the mass migration of Syrians across Europe. It works by matching people who want to share a room in their home with Syrian refugees seeking shelter. As the refugees are given 5 years leave to remain and a right to work, they have the same legal rights as you or I and can be a guest in someone's home. As families are prioritised and given dedicated housing, we mainly work with single Syrian refugees (or couples) who originally arrived in the country by plane/train/lorry/boat/car/foot etc and claimed asylum. They are placed in NASS accommodation while their asylum case is being heard and once they receive a positive decision, are given 28 days notice to leave the accommodation and then need to find their own housing. While they are entitled to LHA allowance, the waiting lists for housing are 6 months or 3 months for a room in a hostel. As refugees, few private landlords want to know so they are effectively destitute. 

 Our project matches those refugees with appropriate accommodation. I believe that they are far better off in family homes than on the streets, building resentment. Unfortunately few are ready to move to rural areas and wish to stay in large cities, where there is a familiar community, mosques and services. As many of our hosts live in rural areas and many of them stipulate that they will only accept women or women with children, we have a shortage of homes for single males where we need them. Most single males have families in Syria/Turkey/Lebanon etc and can legally apply for reunion once they have received their own decision.

 While this project is completely separate to the 20,000 over five years that the Government is bringing in and providing with dedicated housing, I have been in regular contact with the Home Office - keeping them abreast of what I am doing and recently had a very productive meeting with a representative from the Strategic Migration Partnership. We check every Residence Permit with the Home Office and provide a copy of the validation to the prospective hosts - so that they can verify in person when they meet.

 We are in the process of setting up as a charity (CIO) and have four potential Trustees lined up to provide good Governance. Our Chairman is Minya Laher, a Muslim entrepreneur and one of our hosts from Canary Wharf in London. I have copied him in on this mail if you wish to discuss further.

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