February ’21: Update on Resettlement in Exeter
1. VPRS: Exeter City Council secured it’s pledged housing for refugee families under the Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme (VPRS 2015-’20) and 13 Syrian refugee families have now settled in Exeter. The VPRS scheme had been paused since March ’20 during the pandemic but we understand that placements recently restarted in Jan.’21 after considerable pressure from NGOs. Due to conclude last year the very popular VPRS programme will now be concluding over the coming weeks when the final 232 refugees are resettled nationally. This programme showed how with political will the UK could be a leader in resettlement and positively change lives. Sadly there has still been no Gov. announcement or details about resettlement under the new UKRS scheme or when this will start. (see further below)
At this time we do not know if Exeter City Council intends to resettle any further refugee families under the new UK resettlement scheme and await a public announcement ? They are not assessing any new properties at this time and so the call for new properties and landlords is therefore currently on hold. We will post info. on our social media as soon as we have official news! For the latest news from Devon County Council on resettlement see here:https://www.devon.gov.uk/refugees-in-devon/refugee-resettlement-programme/
2. The New UK Resettlement Scheme- UKRS: The Government has made no announcement as regards the new consolidated UK Resettlement Scheme which was to replace VPRs and other existing resettlement schemes from April 2020. This aimed to resettle around 5,000 refugees a year. The Refugee Council has reported on concerns that LAs and other key stakeholders are being left at risk of having to scale down their services.–
3. Other Resettlement NEWS: There is 1 Community Sponsorship programme running in Exeter. Charis is the lead partner agency and there is a network of 3 local churches involved (Belmont, Network Church). They currently are sponsoring 1 family.
(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