Syrian refugees to be given houses in Crawley ‘within weeks’

Europa Hotel, Maidenbower. The hotels are being used by the Home Office to house asylum seekers along with other hotel guests. Pic Steve Robards  SR1604534. Feb 2016 SUS-160215-111210001
Europa Hotel, Maidenbower. The hotels are being used by the Home Office to house asylum seekers along with other hotel guests. Pic Steve Robards SR1604534. Feb 2016 SUS-160215-111210001

A number of Syrian refugee families are expected to arrive in Crawley within the next few weeks after being allocated homes in the town.

Crawley Borough Council pledged to house 10 refugee families following an earlier decision by West Sussex County Council to house 50 throughout the county.

Meanwhile, a number of other refugees are being temporarily accommodated on behalf of the Home Office at the Europa Hotel in Maidenbower.

A council spokesman said this week: “The Home Office does use the Europa Hotel along with other hotels outside of the borough to provide very temporary accommodation for refugees. None of these are housed in Crawley.

“Working in partnership with West Sussex County Council and other district and borough councils across the county we will be providing accommodation for up to 10 families in Crawley over a five-year period as part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme and will be taking our first two families in the next few weeks.

“Locally we are working with a range of agencies together with the voluntary sector in ensuring that we support these families to settle into their homes and integrate with the local community.”

Meanwhile a county council spokeswoman said: “We have agreed to take part in the Government’s voluntary scheme to support Syrian refugees.

“ We are currently working with the Home Office and have identified our first families. Subject to having good quality housing in place we hope that these families will shortly enter the country.

“Under this scheme we have committed to taking one family of four per month for the length of this parliament.

“We believe it is important to come forward and do what we can to help some of the families who are fleeing the terrible situation in Syria.

“We are working with partners on a multi-agency response to this demand in West Sussex. The county council will provide the coordinating role for this.”

She added that the county was also working with district and borough councils, health providers and the Home Office, to make arrangements for the first families to come to West Sussex.