We call on the British government to harness the goodwill of those individuals and families who are willing to take refugees into their homes and quickly resettle Syrian refugees so that they may begin the process of rebuilding their lives.
That’s the rallying cry of the Change.org petition launched by Positive Action in Housing, the UK charity behind the Room for Refugees scheme which whereby people offer to take refugees into their own homes.
Running in partnership with 147 caseworkers from refugee support agencies (including the British Red Cross and the Refugee Council), they have over 3,000 fully-registered refugee hosts across the UK, and since September 2015 the scheme has provided over 12,000 nights of shelter for people seeking asylum and refugees.
Theresa May – the then UK Home Secretary – told the Home Affairs Select Committee that she would “consider” refugee housing schemes. But nothing happened. Yesterday’s report from the committee revealed that under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, the UK Government has only resettled 1,602 Syrian refugees since September 2015. This falls far short of the 5,000 a year target.