Scottish housing co-operatives and associations have pledged to allocate 350 homes to Syrian refugees who are being relocated to Britain under the UK government’s Vulnerable Person Relocation scheme.
The initiative is co-ordinated by Scottish RSL Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, a collaborative response group set up by Positive Action in Housing, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations.
Jim Strang, chair of the Scottish RSL Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis and chief executive of Parkhead HA, said: “I’m more than delighted that we as a sector we can hold our heads up high, because when people were in the middle of a humanitarian crises, we stepped up to the plate.”
Mary Taylor, chief executive at Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, added: “Scotland’s housing sector has a long history of helping people on housing need, and the fantastic response from the housing associations and co-operatives from Scotland reinforces the humanitarian ethos that underpins the housing association movement in Scotland.”
The Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Programme began in 2014 and was expanded in 2015 to resettle 20,000 refugees between 2015 and 2020 in the UK.
The Scottish government agreed to accept 2,000 of these refugees. So far, 29 out of 32 local authorities in Scotland have taken Syrian refugees. Scotland has welcomed over 1,000 refugees from Syria in August.
To help housing associations deal with this issue, the Scottish Refugee Council, with support from the Scottish government and the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, published A Housing Practitioners Guide to Integrating Asylum Seekers and Refugees, which includes practical advice.