Refugee families from Syria will be rehomed in the UK. Picture by Erika Wittlieb.
NEWS the Island will offer a home to families fleeing Syria has been met with an 'overwhelming response for help and support’ according to an Isle of Wight Council report.
The report is due to go before the Isle of Wight Council executive on Thursday and recommends five families are resettled on the Island as soon as possible. It welcomed generous offers of accommodation, furniture and household items.
Suitable language courses have been found, to help the new arrivals learn English as quickly as possible, and steps have been taken to recruit Arabic speaking volunteers to support them as they settle in.
As reported, the five families will be given a home on the Island as part of a government scheme to resettle those fleeing the Syrian war, particularly vulnerable people who have suffered violence and torture.
All applicants will be subject to immigration checks, to exclude anyone with a criminal past or links to extremism, and those who are successful will be required to register biometric details to gain a residence permit.
They will be given leave to remain for five years, and encouraged in that time to become self reliant and financially independent.
The resettlement scheme is funded by the government. For a typical family of five, the government will provide funding over four years — starting at £75,000 during the first year, tapered to £5,000 during the fourth.
It will cover the costs associated with resettling the refugee families and providing housing, school places, benefits and health services.
Providing suitable accommodation can be found, which has proved problematic due to the shortage of Island properties at housing benefit level, the refugees are set to arrive in April.