Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

By Craig Thompson from Syria to Newcastle with Love CAMPAIGN TRAVELS TO CALAIS 'JUNGLE' from Syria to Newcastle with Love

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

By Craig Thompson from Syria to Newcastle with Love CAMPAIGN TRAVELS TO CALAIS 'JUNGLE' from Syria to Newcastle with Love

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Reporter

EMPTY homes on Tyne side are to be offered to Syrian refugees by a land lord.

Rather than having houses standing vacant, bosses at HM Residential in Newcastle say refugees will be able to live in them in between tenants.

It is hoped the move will encourage other housing companies to offer tem porary accommodation to those arriving in the UK from the warzone.

Zaffer Malik, from HM Residential which is based on the city's West Road, said: "We just wanted to do something to help.

"These people are desti tute and if we can provide them with a temporary home, then that is some thing we would like to get involved with. We all have the luxury of having a roof over our heads but they have nothing."

Mr Malik said he would like to see other landlords join him offering support.

He added: "There are times, in between tenants, when properties stand empty and these could act as a temporary home for some of those most in need."

The Government's Vul nerable People Relocation Scheme, launched last year, has seen at least 216 Syrians come to Britain, according to the last pub lished figures.

But Prime Minister David Cameron has announced 20,000 refu gees would be brought from refugee camps in countries bordering Syria into the UK by 2020.

Citizens UK, which helps communities organ ise group action, has urged the Prime Minister to ensure 1,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees are resettled in the UK before winter sets in.

Anisha Malik, also from HM Residential, added: "It's been sad and devas tating to see the ongoing crisis the refugees are fac ing throughout Europe. "We have decided to take the lead and try to accommodate refugees when they arrive in New castle."

Coun Dipu Ahad, from the city's Elwswick ward, said: "I was pleasantly sur prised when HM Residen tial approached me, want ing to work with myself and others to help refu gees by providing whatev er support is needed. "In recent weeks the refugee situation through out Europe has been less and less talked about, but the crisis continues, therefore it's vital we do more to help these people in need, and I strongly believe businesses can play a vital role.

"The initiative HM Resi dential have taken to accommodate refugees is unique and plausible, and I'm positive it will encour age other businesses to do the same."

Last month it was revealed up to 50 Syrians are to be offered homes in Newcastle as the crisis deepens. It emerged nego tiations between the coun cil and Government start ed as far back as January 2014.

CAMPAIGN TRAVELS TO CALAIS 'JUNGLE' UNITED Newcastle campaigners will show solidarity with migrants in Calais''Jungle' by driving to the camp to raise money and awareness.

Today pressure group Stand Up to Racism will lead a delegation of councillors, union representatives and charity leaders across the Channel. …

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