Landlords needed – T4K September update

Hello all,

It is hot again. This makes me happy. It also makes me sweaty. I hope that you will have all had a marvellous summer. I used to think that it was the deep dark winter that made me reluctant to work. I have belatedly realised I have the same issue during long, glorious summer days. I think that I don’t like work. What I do like Thousand 4 1000 and I will tell you why in a minute after I write a list of things that are badly needed:

  1. Landlords with accessible one-bedroom flats. We can even pay market rate.
  2. Landlords with any size flat prepared to rent to certified refugees.
  3. More donors

Here is why I love T4K

The Salk Institute, a concrete courtyard flanked by undulating concrete buildings. The lines draw the eye to the sea and sky beyond, Codera23, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons” class=”wp-image-2951″/></figure></div>

<p style=You are all so wonderful. It is a lovely community. The T4Ceilidh that happened back in July was uplifting and heartwarming. There were lots of new faces along with old ones. I had nothing to do with its organisation, so I was not stressed at all. The team that put the event together was significantly different from the team who prepared the last one. It seemed to me that this beautiful idea of bringing a community of people together to welcome strangers hand on heart and conquer hostility with love is beginning to become a large, beautiful and concrete reality. Hopefully not one made out of RAAC, and perhaps more Louis Kahn than Corbusier. If you want to come to another such beautiful event, our friends at the Jollof Café are putting on an evening meal at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church on Friday 22nd September. You can get your tickets through Eventbrite here.

Chandigarah Capital complex, a very square, blocklike concrete building, Nicholas.iyadurai, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons” class=”wp-image-3057″/></figure></div>

<p style=In addition to beautiful community gatherings, we have been hard at work keeping people housed. There is one more permanent resident. He had a really tough time of things with the asylum system, but finally won his refugee status. Of course, that meant his asylum support was ended. It left him facing the streets as the council did not accept that they should be providing emergency accommodation. With the help of Refugees at Home, we were able to find him a host. Fairly miraculously we were able to find and secure the contract on a lovely, affordable one-bedroom flat.

More on that later, but what I want to stress now is how proud you should be that you have created a system in Brighton with the resources to step in and protect people facing homelessness because of their immigration status.

Why the list

The project needs expanding. There are appeal rights exhausted asylum seekers living hand to mouth and often ending up on the streets. If you’re in that situation it is much harder for you, then if you have your refugee papers. There are practically no statutory options. T4K will house you, but we need to find about £800 a month (and a landlord) to do it. Do tell your friends about us.

There are more than 200 asylum seekers living in terrible Home Office accommodation. The bulk of that cohort are stuck in hotels. Single people may well soon be forced to share rooms with strangers. This is not a rational response to a football stadium’s worth of people claiming asylum each year. It is not even a rational response to the Home Office’s incompetence at processing asylum claims. The reason that there are people in hotels is because the Home Office’s hostility to migration means that they cannot handle what is, in administrative terms, a small number of people. The rational response is to let people work, let people access mainstream welfare rights and to have a system that looks for reasons to accept an asylum claim rather than one which leaves no stone unturned in a quest to reject it. Home Office policy only makes sense when you understand that it is an attempt to punish people for claiming asylum. In response, my fantasy is that we find rooms or hosts for each and every person in those hotels. If you can take on a long-term placement, do sign up with Room for Refugees.

Another person that you are supporting is a young woman with serious health problems. She is in need of asylum and, in the ordinary course of things, would have gone into asylum support accommodation. Her health problems are so severe that any such a move would be fatal. The Home Office don’t care about that. Your support is literally keeping her alive. This time the council have agreed that they have a duty to her and will fund accommodation, but there isn’t anything suitable. We have been desperately trying to find an accessible one-bedroom flat. The money is there, but the hostile environment puts landlords off taking a risk on anything involving, shall we say unusual, immigration status. It does not matter that this sort of arrangement is not prohibited by the Right to Rent rules, nor that such behaviour by landlords and estate agents is probably unlawful discrimination. We cannot find a flat.

As well as our young woman, there are a retired couple who finally had to abandon their home when things got too dangerous for them. They are in the unusual position of being able to afford to rent somewhere for themselves. They also can’t find anywhere to rent.

I want away for about three weeks in August. I had not switched off my phone, which was perhaps something of a mistake. I got a message out of the blue from another newly minted refugee facing homelessness in Brighton. I put him in touch with our care and support lead, Sue. Thanks to your support and money, let’s face it is about the money and here is our donate page, he has not been on the street. He was put up in a hostel whilst Sue scrambled to sort out a Refugees at Home placement. He is still looking for a longer term accommodation solution. It’s really hard to find landlords willing to take a risk on refugees.

This situation is becoming more and more common. The Home Office are beginning to clear their backlog by making positive decisions. They also now only give you a week’s notice after a positive decision before they evict you from asylum support. The council, except in extreme cases, will not provide emergency accommodation. Voices in Exile, Care for Calais, Refugee Radio, the Brighton Quakers and ourselves have been desperately trying to find solutions for a whole cohort of young women who found themselves facing street homelessness after they received their refugee papers. We need people with rooms and homes to rent and we need willing hosts for short term placements. If you can help with the latter, do sign up with Refugees at Home.


Just today I was speaking to a young woman who has been through every kind of torment. She is struggling. She expressed her sorrow in these words: “you come looking for protection, but you never know what is their [the Home Office’s] decision”. A year into her asylum claim, she sees the Home Office as nothing more than an incomprehensible threat. She is absolutely right and it shows that the state will not give her what she is looking for, what she needs and what she deserves.

For me, and I think for t4k, there is only one solution. The community needs to step in. We do that through extending the bonds of friendship. Come along to the Jollof Café evening on 22nd September. We do that by providing practical support. That might mean accompanying people to appointments, helping people fill in forms, finding cricket games for them and so on. It might mean bigger things like opening your home to a guest or even offering it for rent. Fundamentally though, we do it by putting up small amounts of money every month so that out of our small change we can provide the protection that each and every human being in our community should have as her right. You might not be able to know the Home Office’s decision, but you can be sure to know Brighton’s. We will welcome you hand on heart.

A thousand thanks,

Jacob and all of us at T4K