Resubmitting your Application
Adding the Final Touches To the Application Form
Now that you have secured a home for the family, you can resubmit your Application Form filling in the Accommodation sections. See below for example answers.
What Happens Down The Line?
One final point is important here. You are aware that you are required to guarantee a two-year tenancy for the family. But what happens after that? This is a big question, and often, you won't know the answer.
On the application form, you will need to explain that you are committed to help the family explore options for longer term housing, including getting them on council housing lists or on registers for housing associations, and explaining early on the need to save for a deposit. Housing after 2 years is not your sole responsibility, but you need to show that you will not just leave the family to cope on their own once the 24 months is up.
Resubmitting your Application
Once ready, just re-submit your application form through the Lead Sponsor.
The Home Office will need to approve your full application (assuming you've been granted "approval in principle", this is relatively quick).
Then process of matching a family to the Group can start (this takes a few days), and then the family will arrive six - eight weeks later.
- Completed application form
- Letter of consent from the Local Authority
- The Home Office will need to see a bank statement or a letter from your Lead Sponsor to show you have the £9,000
- Safer Neighbourhood form - You should complete Part A of the form and send it to the local police Safer Neighbourhood Team. Once received, the local police Safer Neighbourhood Team (or equivalent police team) should complete Part B within 7 working days using their local knowledge of any known issues of concern such as community tension/anti-social behaviour/hate crime that could impact the wellbeing/integration of a refugee family into the area and then email the completed form directly to the Home Office Security Team at the following address: [email protected]. You can email the SNT around the same time as you submit your application for full approval.
- Property inspection - you will need to ask the council to inspect the property to ensure it is suitable for the family. They usually ask for a few changes but rarely anything major. Email from property inspector to be sent to the Home Office.
- The Council will either have to confirm that they approve your Safeguarding Policy or state that they don't wish to look at it. Either way, this email exchange will need to be shared with the Home Office who may decide they would like to review it.
- Complaints Policy
- Send Property Offer Form to LA representative and ensure they forward it to the Home Office with the group in cc. We cover this in the next module.
Please note that your Lead Sponsor, and not the group, will email the Home Office your completed application pack. Ask them to cc your core group members in the email, so that you are included in all Home Office correspondence.
Attached - Property Offer Form
Filling out the Application Form: Accommodation
1.1a. Please indicate below how many bedrooms the property has:
1.1b. Please tell us the address of the property:
1.1c. Please tell us the earliest date you would be able to welcome a resettled family to this property:
1.1d. Please confirm that the accommodation will be available to the resettled family for two years. Please note that this is an essential requirement as set out in the Statement of Requirements for Sponsors.
1.1e. What security of tenure will the resettled family have, for example, a two-year fixed term assured shorthold tenancy or private residential tenancy in Scotland? Will the tenancy agreement have a break clause? (100 words)
1.1f. Does the property have independent access via its own front door, and provide adequate privacy to the resettled family which meets the Statement of Requirements for Sponsors?
1.1g. How much is the rent each month?
1.1h. How much is the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for the size of property your group has secured (please state in £)?
Please give the monthly rate. You can calculate LHA here: https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/
1.1i. Is the accommodation affordable and sustainable for the family, given the likely social welfare income that the resettled family will receive, taking into account any impact of the Benefit Cap?
Yes (please provide detail in the space below).
No (please explain how you will ensure that the resettled family can afford their rent and all other essential household expenditure).
The rent should ideally be set at or below the Local Housing Allowance rate to enable the family to afford it with the social welfare income they receive. You will also need to take into account the benefits cap.
Where the LHA rate/benefits cap does not meet the full rental cost, you will need to show that you have considered the available funds and potential expenditure, and have budgeted accordingly.
1.1j. Have you invited the local authority to inspect the property, and completed any required works to their satisfaction?
You must give the local authority the opportunity to inspect your accommodation.
Please provide details of your engagement to date with the local authority regarding the property.
Have they visited the property? What date? Include any communications as an additional attachment with your Application Pack. Attaching an email is sufficient.
1.1k. If the local authority is not planning to inspect the property, please provide evidence which demonstrates that the property complies with the standards set out in the ‘Statement of Requirements for Sponsors’. Please note that this is an essential requirement.
Yes, the property complies with the standards.
If the local authority is unable, or declines to inspect the property, you must provide evidence to demonstrate that the property meets the standards set out in the Statement of Requirements. This should be an independent inspection by a suitably qualified professional.
See Requirements here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/765070/2018-12-05_Application_Guidance.pdf
(Annex C, pg. 16)
1.1l. Please confirm that the property will be appropriately furnished in time for the resettled family’s arrival. Please note that this is an essential requirement as set out in the Statement of Requirements for Sponsors.
Yes, the property will be furnished
1.1m. Have you contacted your local police to inform them of your proposed plans to resettle a family in the area and shared these contact details with the Home Office Community Sponsorship Team?
You need to send a Police Board Consultation Form to your Safer neighbourhood team (or local equivalent). See this module of the portal: https://citizens-uk.teachable.com/courses/1033077/lectures/21640137
1.1n. How will you ensure that the resettled family are able to raise issues concerning the property with the landlord, bearing in mind the potential language barrier (for example, non-functioning appliances)?
EXAMPLE ANSWER: To enable independence as soon as possible, the family will be given the landlord’s direct number. However, until they are confident English speakers, we will set up a Whatsapp group between the Accommodation Lead, the Landlord and an Interpreter. If there are any issues, the family can send a message in their language, which will be translated by the interpreter. Where possible, the landlord will sort this directly, but if there are any problems, the Accommodation Lead will be prepared to help.
1.1o. Will you create and translate an information/welcome pack about the accommodation for the resettled family to assist them with settling in, to include for example, health and safety information and details of an emergency contact point?
If no, please explain why you think this is not necessary:
1.1p. What do you anticipate will happen at the end of the two years if the property is no longer available to the resettled family?
You do not need to provide accommodation beyond 2 years- but you need to demonstrate that you won't just leave them in the lurch in month 25. You should have this conversation with the family from an early stage.
EXAMPLE ANSWER: In their first year, we’ll discuss what to do if they want or need to move.
We can help them to identify their preferred areas (e.g. show them average rents in different areas, take them on trips to visit other towns and villages). If we have any social networks in their preferred area, we can facilitate introductions.
We’ll show them how to use online search sites like Zoopla. We’ll explain the need for house deposit and advance rent, so that they have time to save money for this.
We’ll help with practical things like transferring utility bills, moving schools, etc.