Refugees to get seven-bed home while 1,132 wait on council list
STEVE BELL•GETTY The home in Rye has caused anger among residents who say locals should get priority
The spacious property – worth an estimated £400,000 – is in Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s constituency of historic Rye, East Sussex.
The furnished end-of-terrace home has been empty for two years but is now reserved for “imminent arrivals” by Rother Council, which has 1,132 people waiting for social housing.
It is part of the Government’s plans to speed up the resettlement of people fleeing the war-torn country.
But the controversial move has divided the coastal town.
STEVE BELL The property is worth an estimated £400,000
I think it’s absolutely disgraceful when people are homeless
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “I think it’s absolutely disgraceful when people are homeless. Maybe a family with three or four children could have that house or veterans. I don’t think this should be allowed.”
The property, close to the harbour and with on-street parking, was previously used as accommodation for needy young people. Sanctuary Group, the landlord, said refugees will be moved in under the care of Rother District Council as part of the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme.
They are expected within weeks. Ukip home affairs spokeswoman Jane Collins said: “What more proof do we need of the Government not putting British people first?
“The UK has always assisted genuine refugees and should continue to do so but the simple facts remain that people who are British, who have paid their taxes and contributed to the system, should be the first priority of both local and central government.
The furnished end-of-terrace home has been empty for two years
“This is about fairness. Most people in this country can only dream of living in a seven-bedroom house.”
Of the people waiting for social housing, 158 want three-bedroom homes, 31 are looking for four-bedroom properties, six need five bedrooms and one is waiting for a six-bedroomed house.
The Government has committed to resettling 20,000 refugees from the Middle East and north Africa by 2020.