Refugees: Afghanistan

Home Office written question – answered on 28th July 2022.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan refugees remain in hotels following their arrival in the UK in summer 2021.

Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan refugees have found permanent accommodation since arriving in the UK following the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan.

Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the cost to the public purse is of temporary housing for Afghan refugees.

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

In 2021, the UK Government undertook the biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan. Since the end of Op PITTING, we have brought a further c.4,000 Afghans to the UK. Due to the scale and pace of the evacuation we were not able to source appropriate accommodation in the normal way, so we have had to use hotels as a temporary measure.

As of 18 July 2022, we are currently providing temporary accommodation for c.9,500 individuals resettling in the UK under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), whilst they await permanent accommodation.

Over 7000 Afghans have already moved or are in the process of being moved into their permanent accommodation. In addition to the work, we are doing to provide appropriate accommodation for Afghans, a number of families have, in recent months, taken steps to secure their own accommodation.

The cost of accommodating those resetting under ACRS or ARAP, whilst they await permanent accommodation, is estimated at £1 million a day. The Home Office works to secure contracts which offer the best value for money, whilst providing an appropriate level of support to those under its care.

We do not want to see Afghan families in temporary accommodation for any longer than is absolutely necessary. We are therefore working with local authorities across the UK to identify more opportunities for those being housed in bridging hotels to move into permanent accommodation.

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