The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has at present introduced funding for as much as 600 new properties in London for Ukrainians and Afghans who’ve fled battle and are homeless, vulnerable to homelessness or dwelling in unsuitable short-term lodging.
The announcement comes because the capital is about to affix others around the globe in marking the primary anniversary of the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Tonight, Metropolis Corridor, Trafalgar Sq., the London Eye and different London landmarks can be lit as much as be part of a world second of solidarity with Ukrainians in London and overseas.
The Nationwide Theatre, Oxo Tower and Southbank Centre will even be lit up in Ukrainian colors, and the capital’s world-famous screens at each Piccadilly Circus and Outernet will ship a message of solidarity to all these impacted by the invasion of Ukraine.
They’ll be part of different cities around the globe lighting up landmarks, together with the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Torre Monumental in Buenos Aires and others throughout Warsaw, Madrid, Brussels, Prague, Budapest and extra.
This morning Sadiq will even attend a commemorative service on the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which can be attended by the Ukrainian Ambassador, religion leaders and Ukrainian refugees.
London has a proud historical past of offering sanctuary to these fleeing battle, with 16,000 Ukrainian refugees at the moment dwelling in London underneath the Properties for Ukraine scheme and tons of of Afghans accommodated in Residence Workplace bridging lodging websites within the capital.
Nevertheless, lots of the bridging lodging websites are on account of shut within the coming months and the preliminary six-month lodging dedication by hosts by means of the Properties for Ukraine scheme will, within the overwhelming majority of circumstances, be ending quickly or have already ended. It will put additional stress on already stretched council lodging programmes.
To ease this stress, the Mayor has been allotted £126m from the Authorities’s £500m Native Authority Housing Fund to allow boroughs and housing associations to ship 600 inexpensive properties for Ukrainians and Afghans fleeing battle. In London the programme can be referred to as the Refugee Housing Programme (RHP), and can run till 31 March 2024.
Housing associations and native authorities who’ve an ambition to develop RHP properties will have the ability to bid for funding from early spring. The programme will fund new house acquisitions, together with refurbishing present or newly acquired properties, buying new-build properties or creating new properties. Particular person funding allocations can be authorized and administered by Metropolis Corridor.
The programme will even make funding out there for native authorities and housing associations to offer higher high quality and extra sustainable lodging for households at the moment in Residence Workplace bridging lodging. It will typically be for bigger properties, given the typical household dimension of these in bridging lodging.
In the long term, the properties delivered by means of the RHP can be returned to councils and housing associations to grow to be social or inexpensive rented properties out there for Londoners on the housing ready checklist or who require short-term lodging.
Rents charged to refugees can be inexpensive. All Ukrainian and Afghan scheme arrivals have the suitable to work, obtain advantages and entry public companies.
Since changing into Mayor, Sadiq has proven his robust assist for migrants, refugees and other people looking for asylum. He has helped councils home refugees by means of his present Proper to Purchase-back fund. In March final yr he introduced greater than £1.1m in funding to broaden entry to immigration recommendation, develop the Migrant Londoners Hub, and enhance assist for the capital’s migrant employees. He has additionally invested in a collection of measures to assist refugees from Ukraine, evacuees from Afghanistan, and new arrivals underneath the Hong Kong British Nationwide (Abroad) visa.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, stated: “On this tragic milestone – the primary anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine – our metropolis stands in solidarity with tens of millions around the globe in assist of the harmless folks of Ukraine. Our landmarks have been lit in Ukrainian colors and our world-famous billboards are posting messages in honour and solidarity with all these impacted by the continuing struggle, which tragically continues to trigger a lot struggling.
“I’m dedicated to supporting refugees who’ve come right here to rebuild their lives and do all the pieces I can to assist them thrive of their area people. That’s why I’ve introduced a brand new programme which is able to see Metropolis Corridor ship as much as 600 inexpensive properties for Ukrainians and Afghans fleeing battle, giving those that have been by means of such harrowing upheaval the steadiness they deserve.
“I’m doing all I can to construct a greater and fairer London for everybody by serving to councils home refugees by means of my present Proper to Purchase-back fund, and I’m serving to migrants and refugees navigate the complicated immigration system by funding recommendation companies to offer new arrivals with key details about their rights. Nevertheless, there are nonetheless too many refugees dwelling in unsuitable lodging. We’d like the Authorities to urgently step up and supply the suitable funding to native authorities, the voluntary sector and immigration recommendation companies so that each refugee in want has the house and assist they want.”