Refugees: Afghanistan

Home Office written question – answered on 13 July 2023.

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Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Minister for Immigration

The UK has made one of the largest commitments of any country to support those impacted by events in Afghanistan.

The latest Immigration system statistics quarterly release - GOV.UK (, published on 25 May 2023, shows that since their first arrivals in 2021, the Afghan schemes – the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) and the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) - have resettled a total of 21,004 people.

As of 25 May 2023, we were providing temporary accommodation for around 8,799 individuals resettled in the UK under the ARAP or ACRS, whilst they await permanent accommodation. More information on those that we are temporarily accommodating in hotels can be viewed at: Afghan Resettlement Programme: operational data - GOV.UK (

It is not accurate to describe Afghan families as being ‘held’ in bridging accommodation. They are living there temporarily, and we don’t want to see them in bridging accommodation for any longer than is necessary. We continue to work at pace to support Afghan families into homes of their own, so that they can settle into their local communities, feel safe and independent, pursue education, and rebuild their lives in the UK.

The government is providing £285 million of new funding to local authorities supporting the Afghan resettlement schemes. This includes £35 million in new cash for local authorities, which will go towards increasing the level of support available and overcoming key barriers in accessing the housing system and employment and a £250 million expansion of the Local Authority Housing Fund to help councils to source homes to house Afghans currently in bridging accommodation.

This new, generous package of support comes in addition to the existing support available for people on the ACRS and ARAP schemes, including access to welfare and the right to work, as well as access to public services. A dedicated cross-government casework team, made up of Home Office Liaison Officers and DWP staff, are based in hotels and work alongside local authority officials to provide advice to Afghans, including information on how to rent in the private sector, support people find jobs and English language training.

The move from hotels into settled accommodation is in the best interests of families and individuals and will enable them to benefit from the security of housing and long-term consistency of public services. This includes schooling, and the freedoms of independent living that only suitable non-hotel accommodation can provide

Data on the average length of stay in bridging accommodation is not available for publication.

Afghan operational data is released quarterly with the next release due for publication in August 2023.

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