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Could 200 long-term empty homes in Mid Suffolk be offered to refugees in need?

PUBLISHED: 18:13 07 September 2015

Could Mid Suffolk help some of those displaced by conflict in the Middle East? (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Could Mid Suffolk help some of those displaced by conflict in the Middle East? (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Members of the Green Party in Mid Suffolk have called on the administration to take action as the Syrian refugee crisis grows.

Green councillor Andrew Stringer.Green councillor Andrew Stringer.

The five Green Party district councillors – Sarah Mansel, Rachel Eburne, Andrew Stringer, John Matthissen and Keith Welham – met on Friday as a response to calls from constituents about the crisis.

Following the meeting, the councillors called for the Conservative-led local authority to offer empty homes that are brought back into use by Mid Suffolk, of which at least 200 privately-owned properties are considered ‘long-term’ empty, to refugee families.

The councillors have also requested the administration to lobby the Government over the crisis.

They also said if the council has not already offered help from its own housing stock, then it should, notably the handful of ‘hard to let’ properties awaiting disposal.

Following the meeting, Mr Matthissen said: “We welcome the many voluntary and personal initiatives, and feel the council has the resources, including homes and cash reserves, to help meet human need.”

Mr Stringer, who is the group leader, added: “Although this country already has a housing crisis for our existing population, in times of international strife we must do all we can to help.”

Nick Gowrley, Mid Suffolk’s portfolio-holder for housing said: “We are waiting for a government response before taking any action.”

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