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5 VULNERABLE SYRIAN REFUGEE FAMILIES TO BE RESETTLED ON ISLAND

Up to 5 Syrian refugee families could be resettled on the Island, most likely in the Ryde and Newport areas, following unanimous support from the Isle of Wight Council’s Executive last night (Thursday).

The Isle of Wight Council has been working with local partners and volunteers, to investigate the possibility of resettling up to 5 Syrian refugee families on the Island, as part of the Syrian vulnerable persons re-location scheme (VPR), since September 2016.

Part of this process has been the identification of suitable private rental properties and discussions with private landlords around this. Full funding is provided by the government, which will pay for the resettlement costs of these vulnerable families.

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Landlords on the Island are being asked to offer a 12-month let agreement at no more than £528 for a 2-bed property, £648 for a 3-bed property and £797 for a 4-bed property. The Isle of Wight Council will furnish the properties.

It is recognised that resettlement programmes work best where there is good local community support available to welcome and sustain arrivals through offers of learning and work, gifts of household items and practical help to assist with integration into local communities. Many hundreds of offers of equipment, gifts, etc. have been offered by Islanders and voluntary organisations on the Island, to help the families to settle quickly into Island life.

The council has also been working closely with the voluntary sector and other partners, such as the Police, NHS Trust and Clinical Commissioning Group, to ensure that systems and appropriate networks within the community, are in place to support the families; which will include key-worker support and English language lessons as required.

Councillor Steve Stubbings, executive member for adult social care and public health, said:

“I am delighted that the Executive unanimously voted to support this proposal, and for the Isle of Wight to be part of the solution to helping other human beings who have lost everything, to start rebuilding their lives. I’d like to sincerely thank all of those individuals who have come forward to offer help, assistance, gifts, goods and goodwill, to help these vulnerable families get started.

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“I’d also like to clarify that the housing waiting list on the Island remains unaffected by our decision to welcome these refugee families. The housing options identified, are through the goodwill offers of local private landlords, willing to accept the terms of the vulnerable persons re-location scheme, in order to do their bit to help with this global humanitarian crisis; and I offer heartfelt thanks to them.”

If you have a property available to be occupied shortly then contact [email protected] or call (01983) 823040 ext 6912.

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