Helpful Tips Tim Thomas 26/10/2021

Blog: How landlords can support the resettlement of Afghan nationals into the UK?

Many of us have been greatly affected by the sight of Afghan nationals attempting to flee their country following its takeover by the new Taliban government. 

With a significant number of Afghan refugees arriving without accommodation, private landlords can play a positive role in helping individuals to resettle in the UK.

In recent months we have had many conversations with local authorities and Regional Strategic Migration Partnerships, and because of these we have found that many of these organisations have been inundated by pledges of support by private landlords.

Many will be acutely aware of the ongoing pressures affecting the social housing sector. With demand outstripping supply to an alarming degree in this area, several local authorities have established incentive schemes to help make private rental accommodation available to newly arrived families and individuals.

Local authorities have told us that they are looking for ready to rent self-contained properties and given that the average size of an Afghani family is generally larger than that of the average UK family, larger properties are very much desired. 

What incentive schemes are available to landlords and how do they work?

Local authorities across England and Wales have adopted various different approaches to the resettlement question

  • Many local authorities are offering incentive schemes, including the City of Wolverhampton Council, who offering upfront rent or a guaranteed monthly rent income. with some opportunities to refurbish the property before and after the tenants have moved in being offered as part of the tenancy.
  • All Afghan nationals involved in the scheme will be given indefinite leave to stay in the country.  They will be issued with a biometric card, a national insurance number and will be allocated a local GP.
  • Prior to being granted access to housing, all Afghan nationals will be sent to a quarantine centre where they are screened for Covid and tuberculosis. They are also given mental health assessments during their stay.  

What kind of positive impact can incentive schemes have?

  • Many local authorities are temporarily housing Afghan nationals in bridging hotels. However, this does little to resettle them into UK life. Offering housing in the PRS will give them an excellent opportunity to settle in the UK and find employment. 
  • It is also anticipated that many of the Afghan nationals will be highly skilled with strong English language skills, especially those engaged in the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy. This scheme is designed to resettle those that worked alongside the British Government to rebuild Afghanistan and are subsequently in severe danger.

If you are a private landlord and are eager to help resettle refugees in a rental property, there are many ways in which you can register your interest.

Any landlords interested in the schemes can either contact their local authority or respond to the UK Government’s Afghan Housing Support Portal which is an opportunity to highlight any offers of support without formally committing.  Support is not restricted to providing rental accommodation but could also include any other support needs for Afghani nationals involved in the scheme.