INFORMATION NOTE OF THE STRATEGIC HOUSING MANAGER
To inform Cabinet of the regional allocations for the dispersal of asylum seekers recently issued by the Home Office and to provide an update on refugee resettlement schemes.
The Executive Member for Housing and Environmental Health presented the ‘Information Note on Asylum Dispersal and Refugee Resettlement Schemes’ and the Chair led a discussion on this with Members.
Audio recording – 73 minutes 47seconds
The Executive Member for Housing and Environmental Health presented the ‘Information Note on Asylum Dispersal and Refugee Resettlement Schemes’ and advised of the following:
· The Home Office announced in spring 2022 that all Local Authorities would be expected to participate in the full dispersal scheme regarding asylum seekers.
· The Home Office would be procuring private rented housing across all areas for use for dispersal.
· Initial authority allocations are expected to be 97 by December 2023, based on a straight percentage share.
· Private rental sector in this area is already stretched and it is difficult to see where additional private rented properties would be found.
· Consequently this will impact the properties available to support homeless people and will increase private rents of available properties. This will also impact local services available.
· North Herts has so far resettled 10 Syrian families, which equates to 50 individuals, and a further 2 Syrian families, 10 individuals, were expected in the coming months.
· In 2021-22 there were 10 individual Afghans provided accommodation by settle.
· A meeting has taken place with the CEOs of Eastern regional Local Authorities and a further meeting will take place to agree a regional plan for the dispersal.
· A further Cabinet report will be produced when further details of the scheme have been confirmed.
In a response to a question from Councillor Ian Albert, Councillor Prendergast advised that it was too early at this stage to comment on possible budgetary requirements, until the regional plan is agreed.