Proposals to house Syrian refugee families in Horsham, announced earlier this year, have now been put into action.
One of the first families has been found a home in the district after Horsham District Council previously pledged to house 10 families in the area.
An appeal for help to support the family was made at St Mary’s Church in Horsham last week when it was said that another family was expected to settle in the area shortly. They are among several families who have now been allocated houses in West Sussex.
Horsham Refugee Support Group expects 240 refugees to be housed in the area over the next four years.
West Sussex County Council agreed to house the refugees throughout the county in response to David Cameron’s announcement, while prime minister, that Britain as a whole would take in 20,000 refugees.
In the Horsham district, the town’s refugee support group says that the district expects to find homes for 60 refugees per year, stating on its website: “In reality this means only one family every six months will be coming to Horsham district.
“The council have said that they are most likely to resettle people in the bigger towns such as Horsham, Billingshurst, Southwater, Storrington and possibly Henfield.
“They want to try and resettle families quite close to each other so they can support one another. They want them to have good access to transport links and other facilities.
“The people coming here are largely the sick and the elderly – those deemed most vulnerable.”
A spokesman for Horsham District Council previously told the County Times: “We have amended our Housing Register and Nominations Policy to allow the council to nominate up to 10 refugee families over a five year period to suitable housing.
“When a suitable property comes up for nomination, then that property will be put forward for a family.
“The council does not own housing stock, and so will rely on local housing associations for a property.”
And a spokesman for West Sussex County Council said this week:“West Sussex has welcomed a number of Syrian refugee families to locations across the county, as part of the UK’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.
“We are working closely with the families as they embark on their new lives in West Sussex and are making sure that they have the support that they need to integrate and are linking them up with key workers who will help them.”
Crawley Borough Council and Mid Sussex District Council are both also taking part in the housing of refugees.