Refugees: Afghanistan

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 20 December 2023.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to Oral Statement from the Minister for Veteran Affairs of 13 December 2023 on Afghan Resettlement Update, Official Report, column 911, what estimate he has made of the number of people that will be housed in temporary accommodation in (a) December 2023, (b) January 2024 and (c) February 2024.

Photo of Felicity Buchan Felicity Buchan Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The majority of Afghan families have been successfully moved out of bridging accommodation into longer-term accommodation. Less than 15% of households in bridging hotels at the end of March 2023 are owed a homelessness duty and in local authority temporary accommodation.

The Government has made £35 million of funding available for local authorities to provide increased support for Afghan households to move from hotels into settled accommodation.

There is also a similar package of support in place to help those who are due to arrive in the next few months. Government is supporting efforts to ensure households are matched, where possible, into accommodation ahead of their travel. Where this is not possible transitional accommodation will be provided for the short period of time until the property they are matched to is ready for them, or whilst they are waiting for a suitable match. The Government is working to ensure a sufficient pipeline of properties are available to local authorities to use to accommodate these families, before the transitional accommodation closes. Ultimately a small number may end up relying on local homelessness prevention and funding is provided to cover this eventuality.

We will continue to support the Afghan cohort into settled housing, including through the £450 million third round of the Local Authority Housing Fund which follows the first two rounds of £750 million. This funding will help ensure those local authorities which have been most generous in welcoming arrivals are not penalised with longer social housing waiting list.

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