Do you have a spare room?
Could you offer it for a destitute refugee, asylum seeker or forced migrant?
While the Government has said that spare rooms will not be used to host refugees being brought to the UK directly from camps around Syria, there are other refugees already in the UK that need help. Some have made their own way here, on perilous journeys often organised by people traffickers.
Most of these people are adults, though some families need help too, and this is set to increase with cuts to funding to support asylum seekers. Unaccompanied refugee children are helped through social services and are accommodated with registered foster carers.
Who could it be?
That’s a long list! Quite possibly not a Syrian refugee, as other nationalities, such as Afghani, Sudanese and Eritrean, are more common amongst those in need of emergency accommodation.
It’s usual to be able to specify whether, for example, you would only be comfortable with a female ‘tenant’ and whether the property is non-smoking.
How long would it be for?
That’s up to you. While longer-term accommodation (6 months plus) is particularly beneficial for some, even emergency hosting of a few nights can make a real difference.
Get signed up
We don’t get many direct requests to our group, but they do come up occasionally, so please register as a volunteer interested in hosting so we can email you if this happens. The following organisations can help match up people with room with people needing a room:
Room for Refugees was pioneered by Positive Action in Housing in 2004. It is the oldest refugee hosting scheme run by a registered charity in the UK or Western Europe. They specialise in safe refugee hosting for those facing emergency homelessness, for destitute refugees, those seeking asylum and new migrants who have no recourse to public funds.
‘Spare Room for destitute forced migrants’ finds, selects and supports people willing to offer a spare room for free to people forced to seek refuge in the UK – those who are homeless and neither allowed to work nor claim any state benefits.
The Refugee Council can help if you are interested in renting a room to a refugee.