Afghan interpreters and their families are being safely housed in Norwich through an initiative being delivered by Norwich City Council, as the situation in Afghanistan intensifies.
The council is taking part in the national Afghan Locally Employed Staff Relocation Scheme, offering relocation to anyone facing intimidation or threat to life because of their employment by the UK Government. As well as interpreters, this can include other members of staff working for British forces.
Four households have already been resettled in the city thanks to swift help from the council’s Let NCC service, which works with landlords to provide affordable accommodation for people who may not be eligible for social housing. This sits outside of the Home Options allocations system for social housing which requires applicants to have a local connection as part of its criteria.
Officers in the Let NCC team work closely with Norfolk County Council and the Home Office to match families in most need with the properties available. Due to the urgency of the evacuations from Afghanistan, properties have been turned around with as little as two-weeks’ notice and handed to the county council in readiness for the new residents. Some landlords have offered their properties specifically to help refugees and others being housed through resettlement schemes.
This follows the city council’s recent efforts to house more than 40 Syrian families through a similar scheme over the past four years.
Councillor Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “Despite the tragic circumstances, I am very proud that our welcoming city is able to offer a safe haven for a small but significant number of people at risk of harm in their home country.
“This builds on the work our team has previously done to help resettle Syrian families. We want to ensure the very best support for those arriving in Norwich from Afghanistan. ”
Afghanistan is currently a red list country for Coronavirus so most people arriving in the UK must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days and will be given PCR tests.
If you have a whole property that could house an Afghan refugee family, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 989444.
For more information on what you can do to do help people resettling in our area, please visit Afghan resettlement in Norfolk - Norfolk County Council