Homeless people in Havant will take priority over refugees says council leader

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THE leader of Havant Borough Council says he will prioritise local families facing homelessness over refugees.

Over the next five years, the UK must resettle 20,000 refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria.

Every local authority will have to take in families although numbers have not been determined yet.

Councillor Mike Cheshire, Havant’s leader, said the authority will work with the county council’s housing and social care team together with Rural Refugee Network – a hub of volunteers across Hampshire and West Sussex.

Together, they will identify family accommodation in the private-rented sector and to explore any opportunities through the local churches and volunteer agencies.

He added: ‘It is extremely important that a fully co-ordinated approach is taken across Hampshire, ensuring appropriate support networks are in place.

‘I would so like to reassure local residents that any help provided to refugees will not have any detrimental impact locally. Only accommodation which would not normally be made available to the council will be used.’

To find out more, or if you have a property to let, email Tracey Wood on tracey.wood@easthants.gov.uk.