Invest in refugee home plea

A project which is aiming to resettle a refugee family in Nidderdale is calling for potential investors to help it achieve its aim.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 3:31 pm
Bid to bring refugee family to Pateley Bridge. Picture Gerard Binks

Nidderdale Community Welcome announced this week that there is an opportunity to buy a share in a local house to be used by a family from the Middle East, selected for resettlement in the UK by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

“We want to find a two or three bedroomed property on or near the bus route from Pateley Bridge to Harrogate,” said John Tarrant, treasurer of Nidderdale Community Welcome.

“Rental property is scarce and expensive in the area so NCW is looking at the possibility of purchasing a suitable property.

“We are looking for people who would be willing to make a non-binding pledge to invest in this project to help a refugee family to be housed in the local area.” In 2015, the Government agreed that the UK would welcome 20,000 refugees affected by the crisis in Syria by 2020.

“We are a Community Group from the Nidderdale area who have come together to offer a safe and legal route to a new home in the UK for a refugee family who have lost everything,” said Mr Tarrant.

“We need to raise a minimum £9,000 which is ring fenced to support the family.

“We have budgeted for around £13,000 for the Nidderdale family.

“Consent is sought from the Local Authorities responsible for the area.

“And North Yorkshire and Harrogate councils have given consent for NCW to proceed to the next stage of gaining approval from the Home Office.”

He added: “We are aiming for an investment opportunity which will be reasonably secure and produce a modest return.

“It is an investment to help a family currently in a refugee camp in the Middle East in appalling circumstances.

“Full details have not been finalised until we see the level of interest in getting involved but there are several such community investment schemes helping refugee families throughout the country and we will be using a well tried model.”

He said a legally shared ownership scheme would include investments of between £5,000-£45,000 over a five-year term and a return of two per cent per annum.

“We would hope for a group of between 10 and 20 investors with a target total of about £300,000.”

After five years the lease can be extended or ended with the property returned to the investors.

Alternately the NCW could decide to “go it alone” organising the lease to the family and distributing the housing benefit as it wishes.

“Before we do further planning we need to know if there are enough potential investors in the area to finance a house purchase,” added Mr Tarrant.

Anyone who would like to be involved in the investment should email: [email protected]