Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Member of Parliament for East Ham delivered the keynote address at the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) Celebratory Event on Friday 31 October.
The event celebrated the achievements of refugee housing advisers and leaders in East London, and was organised in conjunction with the East Thames Housing Group and Refugee and Migrant Forum for East London.
Speaking at the event, Mr Timms highlighted the important work that HACT has done in seeking to harness the positive energy of refugees in East London. He emphasized the benefits that migrants and refugees make to local communities and the economy as a whole.
Mr Timms acknowledged the importance that those who have been granted refugee status have access to the right support and advice as soon as possible after arriving in the UK. He also cited the critical role of Government in helping tackle the barriers that hold them back from achieving their full potential such as language difficulties, health problems, and access to jobs.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Timms said: “I applaud the work of the Housing Associations Charitable Trust in opening up opportunities for people who face big hurdles - both opportunities to improve their own housing situation, and the situation of their communities, and opportunities to move into lasting and rewarding employment.”