District’s Resettlement Efforts Applauded at CommitteePosted on: Monday, September 11, 2023
The enthusiasm and kindness of local residents, groups and charities, as well as the work of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Resettlement Team, was lauded at Monday’s Policy and Performance Improvement Commitment.
This year, an opportunity arose to review and streamline the Council’s resettlement work and, in January, officers across the Housing Services Business Unit were brought together to establish a resettlement team consisting of a Resettlement Co-Ordinator, two support workers and an Administration Assistant.
In their work across the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, and the UK Resettlement Scheme, they help Afghan nationals who have worked for or alongside the UK government and people who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan, standing up for values such as democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech and rule of law, as well as vulnerable people, including women, girls and members of minority groups at risk. They currently support 7 households across the three schemes with support for the latest arrivals set to continue until September 2027.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme, supporting households who host individuals and families fleeing Ukraine, has also been very successful locally. The remarkable generosity of residents has seen 105 local households involved with 67 in current host placements and 3 new arrivals expected in the coming weeks. Part of the Council’s role in this scheme is to complete a home assessment and safeguarding check of the host accommodation before arrival and to undertake safe and well visits after guests have arrived to make sure the arrangement is working for all.
Councillor Lee Brazier, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “I’m so proud of our team for the amazing work they’ve been doing to support people and families who’ve been forced to flee their homes in awful circumstances. I know that we couldn’t do this without the fantastic partners we work alongside and I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to the agencies, charities and voluntary groups who support and deliver training on our behalf, helping households to settle into their communities.”
One of the aims in establishing the resettlement service was to ensure the best possible use of government grants and support and this has already resulted in Newark and Sherwood being the only council in the county to successfully apply to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities’ £500m Local Authority Housing Fund. This will support the purchase of 14 homes, helping to meet resettlement and homelessness needs, with 35% of the homes secured already and the rest due to be acquired by November. An additional 3 homes have also been kindly supplied by Barratt Homes for a 2-year period for temporary resettlements.
One of the Council’s previous resettlement projects, under the scheme previously known as the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Scheme, ran from 2016 to 2021 and saw 13 households supported, all of whom have settled well into their communities and are now living independently.