Afghanistan: Asylum

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 16th September 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to release property from his Department's estate to house refugees from Afghanistan.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to prepare properties or repurpose accommodation on his Department's estate to ensure it is fit for habitation by refugees from Afghanistan.

Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The whole of government is rightly focused on delivering the best start to life in the UK for individuals who have supported the UK over the last 20 years of operations in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence is particularly committed to actively supporting the integration of Afghan nationals who have supported Defence wherever we can.

The Ministry of Defence has already offered Local Authorities the opportunity to lease up to one hundred units of Service Family Accommodation to house Afghan evacuees across the United Kingdom. Whilst the provision of accommodation is clearly a crucial part of the resettlement programme, of equal importance is ensuring that Local Authorities have the capacity to provide the right level of access to health and education provision to ensure the integration of Afghan evacuees.

The Ministry of Defence continues to work closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government, and the Home Office support on a cross-Government efforts to identify where we can best support this endeavour. This includes the provision of additional Defence accommodation where appropriate to do so.

Before a decision is made on the provision of additional Defence accommodation, we continue to work with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to assess the impact allocating additional houses to Afghan families would have on our ability to support Service families who are eligible but not currently entitled to occupy surplus Service Families Accommodation.

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