Refugees: Afghanistan

Home Office written question – answered on 21st September 2021.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions is she having with Ministerial colleagues in the (a) Department for Work and Pensions and (b) Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on Afghan refugees' access to benefits and housing support.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Under Operation Warm Welcome, we are taking a cross-government approach to ensuring Afghans arriving in the UK are able to rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education and integrate with their local communities.

Those brought to the UK under ACRS will be able to apply for public funds. To ensure they will be supported properly, changes will be made to legislation so that, if necessary, people arriving under ACRS do not need to meet the habitual residence test.

We continue to work with local authorities to source appropriate accommodation as quickly as possible for families already in the UK. So far, 204 local authorities have agreed to house those who have been evacuated from Afghanistan, and we would strongly urge every council across the country to contribute to this national effort.

We are working with other government departments and local authorities to realise appropriate accommodation opportunities to meet the demands of this urgent national response.

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