FIVE new refugee families will be rehomed in Hyndburn this year as part of a new Home Office scheme.

The Government-funded Global Resettlement Scheme is being introduced over the course of 2020/21, broadening the geographical remit of a previous scheme which saw councils across the UK take in refugee families from Syria.

The new scheme could see refugees from many countries including Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Sudan rehomed in East Lancashire.

Fiona Goodfellow, Hyndburn Council’s housing strategy and policy manager, said: “All Lancashire local authorities have been requested to pledge and commit to resettle 10 refugee households over a five year period.

“Hyndburn has committed to receive the first five households in July 2020. Preparations are now underway to enable this to happen.

“Onward Homes, who provided the accommodation for the 10 Syrian refugee households who arrived in July 2018, have agreed to source and provide houses for the five families arriving in July 2020 under the GRS.

“As before we will need a variety of property sizes to match the household sizes arriving - full details of the size and make-up of Hyndburn’s households will be known in April / May 2020.

"The properties will be located in the Accrington area so the households have easy access to services and facilities."

Grant funding for the scheme is provided by the Home Office through Lancashire County Council with £10,000 per year for voluntary sector support and £67,5000 over two years for casework support.

There is no requirement for a formal agreement between the council and Onward Homes as the council is only signposting the refugee households to housing and will not be taking any responsibility for the management of the properties.

Onward Homes will be responsible for co-ordinating and undertaking the housing management activities which include the preparation of the properties prior to arrival.

Under the programme, the council is required to establish or commission a system of casework support to the refugees which shall be made available to individuals and families for the first two years following their arrival.

The casework support includes initial reception arrangements and intensive orientation support in the first few weeks following arrival.

Following this period ongoing support, bespoke to each family, will be provided during the first 12 months.

The level of support for the following 12 months will be ‘stepped down’ and will be less intensive to encourage independence.