Refugee Welcome Homes is a Community Interest Company set up to link socially conscious landlords with refugees needing a place to call home in Bristol.
All potential tenants are refugees (have the right to stay in the UK) and are therefore allowed to work and claim the same benefits as other British Citizens. Many new refugees find the process of finding a place to rent really challenging because of multiple barriers.
Barriers to renting include:
- The language barrier which makes it difficult for refugees to make themselves understood by potential landlords.
- The stigma attached to refugees who are sometimes completely incorrectly considered ‘illegal immigrants’.
- New refugees’ lack of knowledge of their housing rights and of confidence in navigating the complexities of the UK benefits and housing system.
- Landlords are not always aware of refugee tenants’ status and assume they cannot rent to them.
- Landlords are sometimes unwilling to accept tenants receiving housing benefit.
- Landlords sometimes request large sums as deposits, often require Guarantors for rent and charge rent in advance. These challenges are impossible to meet for new refugees with no networks or financial stability yet.
These barriers make it often impossible for refugees to rent privately in Bristol apart from in ‘slum’ housing conditions with unscrupulous landlords. Refugee Welcome Homes wants to work with Bristolian landlords to change all that and make this a real city of sanctuary for refugees.
We are the company best placed in Bristol to deliver affordable lettings to refugees as we are well known in the Refugee Community. Plus we are committed to making letting as easy as possible for socially conscious landlords, while changing the lives of new refugees trying to settle here in Bristol.
We encourage refugees to get into work and training, meet and integrate with British people from all walks of life and improve their English through our multi-nationality shared homes.
We can offer:
- Guaranteed mortgage repayments will be covered each month for each landlord (subject to approval).
- Proven experience navigating the benefits system for our tenants and teaching refugee tenants about cultural norms in the UK re: use of water, heating, recycling etc
- Proven experience in refugee community work through organisations in Bristol such as Bristol Refugee Rights, Bristol Hospitality Network, Bristol Red Cross and Refugee Action.
- Best placed to find suitable tenants from the refugee community through our extensive networks; particularly with the Red Cross, Refugee Action and Bristol Refugee Rights (where we started).