Harborough council fails to find a single home for Syrian refugees

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Harborough District Council has been urged to do more for refugee families, after falling behind in its aim to find one home a year for Syrian 
refugees in the district.

The call has come from Paula Alexander of the Market Harborough Helping Refugees organisation.

Paula said she was “very concerned to hear that Harborough District Council has reneged on its decision to house just one refugee family fleeing the conflict in Syria by this month”.

She told the Mail: “In a comparatively wealthy district like Harborough, one house per year for refugees is surely not too much to ask”.

In May last year, the council committed to making one property within the Harborough district available each year over the next five years to home Syrian refugees. The first family was supposed to arrive this month.

Paula said: “These are some of the most vulnerable people on the planet right now. We believe we have a moral responsibility to help.

“We call on the council to make good its promise and help bring one vulnerable family to safety.”

Leicester, with a population four times bigger than the Harborough district, is looking to house 200 refugees a year. Neighbouring Oadby and Wigston Borough Council has a hostel for 56 asylum seekers.

Other district councils in Leicestershire, including Harborough, are working together to find homes under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.

Harborough’s Cllr Rosita Page, portfolio holder for housing and community safety, said: “Unfortunately, the council was unable to accommodate any of the families arriving in March 2017.

“This was mainly due to the fact that no suitable and affordable properties in the private sector were available in the district. “

But she added: “We are working with partners to secure appropriate accommodation for a family on the next scheduled arrival in June 2017.”