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Council and BCHA partner to house refugees

16 March 2023

The Council is joining forces with housing association BCHA to help provide homes for Afghan and Ukrainian refugees in Plymouth.

The scheme will see the Council pass on over £1.5 million of government funding to BCHA to purchase a total of 16 two, three and four bedroomed homes.

The funding comes from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), and is ring-fenced for providing sustainable housing for people in the UK under the Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), the Ukraine Family Scheme, Homes for Ukraine and the Ukraine Extension Scheme.

BCHA, a long-term trusted partner of the Council, have been chosen to help deliver the scheme by March 2024.

Councillor Rebecca Smith, Cabinet member for Housing and Communities, said: "Plymouth has a proud history of welcoming people who have fled their homelands so I am delighted to be able to join forces with BCHA for this scheme.

"Once again partnership working has come up trumps and I look forward to seeing families who have been through so much housed in our beautiful city."

Martin Lucas, BCHA Director of Finance & Corporate Resources said:  "BCHA are pleased to be partnering with Plymouth City Council providing much needed housing for refugees in the city.  

“We feel as active members of the Plymouth Alliance this is a result of excellent partnership working with the Council over the last few years and are looking forward to providing more homes for Afghan and Ukranian refugees. 

“This fantastic initiative aligns with our mission of ending homelessness and addressing local housing need. "

Following an executive decision on Wednesday, £1,531,181 will be made available to BCHA.

Nearly £1.1 will go towards providing 13 homes with a minimum of two bedrooms for families in Plymouth on any of the three Ukrainian schemes.

These households are mostly residing with host families already in the city and this scheme will enable them to settle and create a home for themselves in Plymouth once these arrangements come to an end.

Meanwhile a further £475,581 will help with the delivery of three homes with a minimum of four bedrooms for Afghan families.

Homes will be offered at affordable rents to ensure they are sustainable for people living in them. Longer term BCHA will be able to use them to support those experiencing homelessness.

More information on what the Council does to help refugees can be found at: Inclusion and community cohesion | PLYMOUTH.GOV.UK