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Call for landlord who could let empty house to refugees

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 January 2018

Naomi Clifton, Faheed Ramzan, Teresa Ward, Ruth Musgrave, Claire Marshall and Gemma Constable are backing a project to bring a Syrian family to Redbridge. Photo: Redbridge Community Sponsorship Partnership

Naomi Clifton, Faheed Ramzan, Teresa Ward, Ruth Musgrave, Claire Marshall and Gemma Constable are backing a project to bring a Syrian family to Redbridge. Photo: Redbridge Community Sponsorship Partnership

Archant

A housing association has pledged to help secure a home in Redbridge and revamp it for free to help a family of Syrian refugees fleeing war.

Naomi Clifton, Faheed Ramzan, Teresa Ward, Ruth Musgrave, Claire Marshall and Gemma Constable are backing a project to bring a Syrian family to Redbridge. Photo: Redbridge Community Sponsorship PartnershipNaomi Clifton, Faheed Ramzan, Teresa Ward, Ruth Musgrave, Claire Marshall and Gemma Constable are backing a project to bring a Syrian family to Redbridge. Photo: Redbridge Community Sponsorship Partnership

Arhag Housing Association has answered the prayers of a group of Redbridge churches and mosques who want to bring a Syrian family to the borough.

The group - Redbridge Community Sponsorship Partnership (RCSP) - have been unable to find a landlord who could take their house off the market ahead of a family arriving in the borough.

To solve the problem, Arhag has agreed to lease a property on behalf of the family for three to five years.

They will also renovate a property in poor condition at no extra cost.

Chief executive Cedric Boston said: “We will bring a house up to a good standard, put in new furnishings and appliances where necessary and will guarantee the rent for between three to five years.”

The RCSP and Arhag are now appealing for a landlord who can lease their property at an affordable rate - around £1,050 per month.

This opportunity will save a landlord from paying letting agent fees and ensure they receive a guaranteed income.

Arhag were set up in 1979 to help African refugees experiencing housing problems,

They have tenants in over 900 properties across 15 London boroughs.

The RCSP are led by the Redbridge Islamic Centre (RIC) with support from Ilford Methodist Church, Balfour Road Mosque, Ilford Salvation Army, South Woodford Mosque, St. Thomas of Canterbury RC church and Wanstead Quakers.

“We were stuck,” said Ruth Musgrave, one of the partnership’s facilitators.

“But Arhag said that they would be able to sign for the property immediately as the official tenant.

“Arhag will then get the rent from the family.”

The RCSP are also recruiting “befrienders” who will help the family settle in.

This includes helping them register at the doctors, taking them to play football or go swimming, introducing them to community groups and take them to English classes.

To become a befriender, email redbridge_cs@hotmail.com.

If you are interested becoming a landlord, get involved by emailing wrickett@arhag.co.uk or calling 07904852000.

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