MTVH makes Afghan refugee homes pledge

14 September 2021

Summary: MTVH is today pledging to provide homes for 50 Afghan families over the next year.

MTVH has a proud history of providing sanctuary and support for refugees and migrants, in keeping with its founding purpose to provide affordable, good quality homes for members of the Windrush generation in the 1950s. Today, MTVH is committing to make 50 homes available over the next year for Afghan refugees.

Following the fall of the elected government in Afghanistan, the devastating scenes in recent weeks have led many Afghans, including those who have supported UK military forces and government activity in the country over the last 20 years, to flee their homes to find safety.

MTVH has already confirmed it will be welcoming four Afghan families into our communities in the coming weeks in partnership with local authorities.

We are working closely with many local authorities that have pledged support for Afghan refugees, and we will accept any nominations for families to our homes that local authorities choose to make. The vast majority of MTVH’s ‘general needs’ rented homes are subject to an allocations process managed by our local authority partners, known as nominations agreements.

The 50 homes which MTVH will make available are a proportion of the homes that become available for re-letting each year over which we have discretion on allocation. Importantly, in recognition of the significant existing demand for affordable homes, those people currently waiting for homes through MTVH’s internal transfer process – such as existing residents who are looking for more suitably sized homes – will continue to be able to access homes that become available and that meet their needs. We will seek to offer homes to refugee resettlement that have first been refused by existing households on MTVH’s internal transfer list.

Where MTVH can provide homes, this will be coordinated with the relevant local authority, so that access to government support and other important services is well organised.

We are also seeking to provide additional homes through other arrangements, such as tenure conversions or shorter-term lets in homes that would not otherwise be available to other existing residents.

Geeta Nanda OBE, Chief Executive of MTVH, commented:

“People fleeing Afghanistan after supporting the UK’s efforts in the country over the last 20 years, and those leaving in the face of persecution and threats to their lives, need a safe place to call home. MTVH is built on the principles of supporting people to live well and to make their homes in the communities we work with, no matter where they come from. We are making this commitment today to play our part in the collective efforts being made across the country to support those refugees forced from their homes, because it’s the right thing to do.

“The pressures on the availability of affordable homes means that we must ensure this commitment reflects the challenges people already waiting for more suitable homes face. Our approach will make sure we get this balance right. We want to work with local councils to support the Afghan resettlement efforts and we hope this pledge today will encourage others to look at what more they can do too.”

Dave Banks, Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director Neighbourhoods, said:

“We’re pleased to be working collaboratively with Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, the Government Office and other key partners to assist newly arriving Afghanistan citizens and those who qualify as part of the ongoing humanitarian response.

“Nottinghamshire has been one of the first areas to create a countywide offer and our commitment extends via using existing networks via Nottingham City Council and Notts Refuge Forum to provide information and support to ensure successful integration for families into our Rushcliffe communities.”