Search

Call for landlords who could let empty Islington houses to Syrian refugees

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 October 2017

Yvette Mahon's daughter Nell Farrer, four. Yvette says her family has benefited from living near the refugee family. Picture: Yvette Hunt

Yvette Mahon's daughter Nell Farrer, four. Yvette says her family has benefited from living near the refugee family. Picture: Yvette Hunt

Archant

The volunteers who welcome refugees to Islington are appealing for landlords with empty properties to help them settle two more Syrian families.

Yvette Mahon's sons Dougal and Lucas Farrer, four. Picture: Yvette Hunt Yvette Mahon's sons Dougal and Lucas Farrer, four. Picture: Yvette Hunt

The Islington Refugee Welcome group has already found privately rented homes for three families in the borough, but is expected to track down a total of five as part of a deal struck in October between its parent body Citizens UK, the council, and the government.

For its own part, the council will use its connections to find five more empty private homes. Whitehall will stump up the rent.

Yvette Mahon, one of the three landlords who has already stepped forward, said: “We wanted to do more than continue to watch the desperate images of refugees on our screens.

“It has been an enormously positive and rewarding thing. It has been about trying to make a small difference to one family at a difficult time in their lives, but also making cultural connections, sharing of experiences, amazing Syrian food and a fast developing friendship between two ordinary families.”

Anyone who hosts a Syrian refugee family is paid rent to the value of housing benefit, and gets help decorating and furnishing the property if they want it.

Yvette added: “Life isn’t easy for them here in London, either, but they are positive and resilient and slowly they are jigsaw-ing together a new life.

“We are extremely happy we’ve been able to add at least one piece to that jigsaw.”

The National Refugee Welcome Board was set up by community umbrella group Citizens UK. The initial plan was to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees who had fled war and terrorism by 2020.

"It has been about trying to make a small difference to one family at a difficult time in their lives, but also making cultural connections, sharing of experiences, amazing Syrian food and a fast developing friendship between two ordinary families"

Yvette Mahon

Islington’s community development chief Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz said: “Islington was one of the first local authorities to welcome vulnerable people fleeing the Syrian conflict.

“Islington has so far accepted 10 families – 34 adults and children – into our community. That number includes three

babies born in the UK. One was born just last week.

“We are incredibly proud to be a partner in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, offering refuge and aid to families fleeing a truly horrific humanitarian crisis.”

Can you help? E-mail the Editor on ramzy.alwakeel@archant.co.uk and your details will be passed on to the group.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Believe it or not, it’s a year since the town hall and the Gazette asked you to nominate Islington’s biggest community champions for the 2017 civic awards.

14:15

A soldier from Highbury has been honoured 100 years after winning the Victoria Cross for “bravery under heavy fire” in the First World War.

Weekend blizzards made work for young snowman builders in Highbury Fields – and street gritters on the borough’s road network.

Detectives investigating the alleged rape of a woman have released CCTV footage of two men they wish to speak to.

08:44

Islington Council is considering the future of McDonald’s restaurants across the borough after a woman wearing a hijab was refused service in the Seven Sisters Road branch in Holloway.

08:24

A Holloway couple’s romance ended in heartbreak – at the Old Bailey.

Yesterday, 13:06

Weather warnings have been issued across London following heavy snowfall overnight and this morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Here in Islington, we are used to creative forms of protest outside the town hall. In September, for instance, Sotheby Mews Day Centre campaigners rallied with their own version of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now