Update on Resettlement in Exeter (Jan. 22)
1. Syrian Family Resettlement- VPRS now ended: Exeter City Council secured it’s pledged housing for refugee families under the Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme (VPRS 2015-’21) and 13 Syrian refugee families have been welcomed and settled in Exeter. The VPRS scheme is now ended. 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. refugee Support Devon continues to support refugee families in Exeter.
2. Afghan Resettlement: There are 2 resettlement schemes currently:-
The ARAD scheme is for those who worked with the British armed forces in Afghanistan and includes many of those evacuated in August ’21. These families are currently living primarily in hotels across England on a temporary basis. Almost 70 Afghan citizens are currently living on a temporary basis in a hotel in Exeter under this scheme until more permanent accommodation is found for them. This could be anywhere in the country.
ACRS- The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme: On 6th January this scheme was formally opened and will resettle more than 5,000 in the 1st year and up to 20,000 in the coming years. Working with the UN the Home office reports that the scheme will prioritise “those who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for values such as democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and rule of law. Also vulnerable people, including women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups at risk (including ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT+)” will be prioritised. (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme).
ECC and DCC have said they are wanting to support Afghan resettlement but at this time we do not know how many Afghan families Exeter City Council or DCC intends to accommodate on a more settled basis under the ACRS or ARAD schemes. We await further public statements. For the latest news from Devon County Council on resettlement see here:https://www.devon.gov.uk/refugees-in-devon/refugee-resettlement-programme/
3. Other Promised UK Resettlement Scheme- UKRS: The Government has made no announcement as regards the promised UK Resettlement Scheme which was to replace VPRS and other existing resettlement schemes from April 2020, and which would have a wider global reach as regard families eligible for resettlement (i.e. not just those from Afghanistan). This aimed to resettle around 5,000 refugees a year.
4.Community Sponsorship: There are 2 Community Sponsorship programme running now in Exeter with Charis as the lead partner agency with a network of 3 local churches involved (Belmont, Network Church).
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.
ExCoS has been actively supporting the City Council’s efforts to secure landlords in Exeter through our call outs, contacting estate agents, distributing flyers and wide social media campaign.
- *Previous ExCoS website posts,call outs for landlords etc: Refugee-Resettlement private-landlords -needed