Update on Refugee Resettlement in Exeter -including ‘Homes for Ukraine’
1. Syrian Family Resettlement under the Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme has ended(VPRS 2015-’21). Exeter City Council secured it’s pledged housing for refugee families and 13 Syrian refugee families were welcomed and settled in Exeter. This programme was hugely popular and successful with councils, statutory agencies, charities ,community groups and individuals all working together to support the families. The scheme showed how with political will the UK could be a leader in resettlement and positively change lives.
2. Afghan Resettlement:
Following the emergency evacuations from Kabul, Afghanistan in August ’21 almost 100 Afghan citizens have arrived in Exeter under the Home Office’s ARAP and ACRS (Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme) schemes, primarily those who worked with the UK government in Afghanistan. Placed on a temporary basis in hotel accommodation they were offered the right to apply for indefinite leave to remain and to work.
Staff from Hikmat Devon CIC (https://www.hikmatdevon.co.uk) , Exeter College and the resettlement team at Devon County Council have been supporting these Afghan families. Many have now moved on to more permanent accommodation in other parts of the country and some to private accommodation in Exeter and other parts of Devon. But there is concern for those still living in hotels as the Home office has sent letters informing them that they will be evicted in August ’23 .
Contact, Resettlement team, DCC: [email protected]
3. Homes for Ukraine
The Government opened a new community sponsorship scheme for Ukrainian refugees in March ’22. It has been absolutely heartening to see how up and down the country, British people were ready & waiting to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes through this new safe route.
In Exeter members of the Devon Ukrainian Association have led the way in helping to offer practical advice and support to hosts and guests as well as assisting local councils in planning for their needs. They opened a welcome hub and conversation cafe in Paris Street, in partnership with Exeter City Council. This offers drop in, support and translation, signposting, benefit advice and group activities. Exeter City Council and Devon County Council approve hosts/accommodation and have funded 2 dedicated wellbeing workers.
Government Website: https://apply-to-offer-homes-for-ukraine.service.gov.uk/
Devon County Council: https://www.devon.gov.uk/supporting-ukraine/:
Devon County Council Resettlement Team: [email protected]
Devon Ukrainian Association, Conversation Café for Ukraine,6 Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1GA Tel 01392 580044 Website: https://www.dua.org.uk/who-we-are
4. Refugee Community Sponsorship (except Ukraine)
There are 2 community sponsorships in Exeter. Charis is the lead partner agency with a network of 3 local churches
Previous (2017- March ’20) CALL OUT: Wanted – Private Landlords in Exeter for Refugee Family Resettlement (VPRS)
The Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) offers a lifeline of hope to some of the most vulnerable families living in UN refugee camps bordering Syria. It is a chance to find safety and build a more hopeful life here.
The UK government has committed to bringing 20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees to new lives in the UK by 2020. There is an additional commitment to resettling a further 3,000 vulnerable ‘at risk’ children and their families from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions under a second scheme- VCRS. Since July 2017, individuals on the schemes have been granted refugee status and five years’ stay in the UK.
Over 45 families are expected to come to Devon County– 30 families have already arrived and been warmly received by local communities. ( see here for more info. from Devon County Council- https://www.devon.gov.uk/refugees-in-devon/refugee-resettlement-programme/ We are delighted that Exeter City Council has now pledged to secure accommodation for up to 12 families. They have been working hard to find suitable properties and private landlords interested in leasing their properties to the Council. Further properties are urgently needed.
If you are a private landlord that can help please contact Jenny Pleasants at Exeter City Council’s housing Access team if interested; TEL. 01392 265685/ 265819 Click on the flyer below to get up to date details on what kind of properties are needed by ECC, who to Contact etc. Or you can download as a pdf. file here: Call for LANDLORDS; A4 Flyer Portrait
- Keep an eye on our Facebook page too for up to date news about resettlement.
- *Previous ExCoS website posts,call outs for landlords etc: Refugee-Resettlement private-landlords -needed