Refugees: Afghanistan

Home Office written question – answered on 1st June 2022.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help ensure that resettled Afghans are informed about life in the area of the UK in which they are offered accommodation.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of housing resettled Afghans in urban areas; and whether priority is given to finding accommodation in urban areas.

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

We have been working to support Afghan families into homes of their own, so they can settle into their local communities, feel safe and independent and rebuild their lives in the UK.

We provide 7 days’ notice of their move to long-term accommodation. During this time, they can prepare for their move and discuss any concerns with their Home Office Liaison Officer. We will also put them in contact with the relevant Local Authority to discuss the area they are moving to and what the local amenities are including schools, local services and details of the local community to help them integrate as quickly as possible.

We work closely with Local Authorities and we strive to allocate the right families into the right accommodation to ensure integration into their new area is as smooth as possible. To achieve this, we triage and prioritise families to ensure the settled accommodation provides the best possible match, taking into consideration date of arrival into the UK, family size, vulnerability and integration factors.

This also includes finding accommodation within or near to, major conurbations wherever possible so appropriate support and access to services can be more readily provided. Yet this must be balanced with the need to avoid lengthy periods being accommodated in hotels when good offers of accommodation are being made from other areas which are ready to welcome Afghan families.

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