Property supporting the Afghan refugee crisis

Propertymark worked with the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to help find suitable housing for Afghan refugees. Rental agents could play a vital role in supporting the UK government’s humanitarian efforts.

Afghan resettlement program

We have been informed that around 11,000 refugees have been resettled in the UK and are living in hotels pending appropriate accommodation and accommodation offers.

DLUHC needs the help of the UK housing sector to reduce the pressure on local authorities and the threat of homelessness for Afghan citizens. The department is keen to explore if there is a role for rental agents in this process.

By focusing on large cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester where Afghan communities already exist, DLUHC hopes to encourage suitable accommodation offers, especially to accommodate refugees with large families or those experiencing financial constraints.

To ensure that housing for Afghan families is of an acceptable standard, properties must meet certain essential criteria to be considered appropriate. Housing offers which do not meet these criteria when the property is available will not be taken into account. The properties must:

  • be autonomous without shared facilities
  • not be a hotel or a student residence
  • be available for a period of at least 12 months
  • be able to adhere to standard safety rules and owner responsibilities

Help the refugees

The UK government has created a portal to collect and process offers for additional housing assistance for refugees, where the offers are for entire houses and for landlords, organizations or businesses. The information gathered helps prioritize which deals to follow up and discuss further and does not need to be final or definitive.

If an offer is deemed appropriate, the competent local authority will organize a discussion and request further information. Due to significant time constraints, some local authorities can only contact for offers they deem appropriate.

It is also possible to help bring in something other than whole houses to aid humanitarian efforts, using the UK government’s ‘Helping Refugees Who Have Come to the UK’ service.

For technical questions or questions regarding the status of a property that is being offered, contact DLUHC.

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