THE CHALLENGE

More than a million Syrian migrants fleeing war and terror, entered Europe in 2015. According to UNHCR figures, numbers crossing the mediterranean are up 630% on the first quarter of last year. Some have already reached UK shores and claimed asylum. It is reasonable to expect that many more will.

But there’s a problem...

Although the UK Government has pledged to help 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years (2015-2020), these will be from amongst the most fragile and vulnerable and will be selected by UNHCR from the war zone and surrounding camps.

There are thousands of other Syrian refugees who will try and reach the UK and regardless of our closed borders, many will succeed and claim asylum. They will be placed in temporary accommodation while their case is decided and once they receive their 'refugee' status giving them a leave to remain for five years, they will be given 28 days to vacate the accommodation and those without children are left to their own devices to find somewhere to stay. The next step is to approach local councils looking for social housing, only to be told that there is none or the waiting lists are excruciatingly long. Private landlords in many cases, don't want to know and the only alternatives are friend's sofas, homeless hostels, local mosques or the streets.

That's where we come in...