How can Community Sponsorship Groups source affordable accommodation in the current housing crisis?

Sourcing accommodation

Affording accommodation

Recommendations

  • If your Group is based in an area of high rent, do not dismiss the private rented sector immediately or assume that you’ll need to pay top up. You will need to approach landlords directly and make the case for housing refugees at affordable levels of rent. Groups are having considerable success in negotiating rents in the private sector down to Local Housing Allowance rates. Remember that you are advocating for people in need of housing — you aren’t being pushy or rude by asking for a reduction in rent. The landlord can always say no if they cannot afford a reduction. Read this blog from a landlord for a good understanding of what sort of issues the landlord could be keen to understand and read our guidance about how to work with landlords.
  • While it’s better to avoid paying top up, you should be pragmatic not dogmatic. There’s a big difference between paying £50/month top up and £500/month top up. If you live in an area of very high rent and you negotiate a reduction on a great property but will still need to pay a small amount of top up (e.g. £50/month), it may well be the right decision to take this property.
  • If you are paying a top up, follow our guidance on how to do this in a way that will make the rental amount affordable for the family in the long term should they wish to stay in the property
  • It’s worth approaching Housing Associations, but be respectful of the number of requests that they get daily from vulnerable people in need of housing. They may well support your cause but be unable to help.
  • And finally, remember that all of your work with a refugee family should be aimed at empowering them to live independently in the UK. Check out our guidance on adopting an empowerment approach to housing provision.

Request to participate in research

  • the type of property you found (e.g. is it in the private rented sector, owned by your local church…)
  • how you found it (e.g. through a friend, by leafletting…)
  • how long you spent looking for the property
  • whether you’re paying top up

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Reset is working to support and grow #CommunitySponsorship for refugees — an exciting scheme that allows communities to welcome a #refugee family