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Large family homes may be bought to house Afghan refugees

Media reports suggest the government is considering offering grants to local authorities to purchase private family houses which are larger than average, to meet the needs of Afghan refugees fleeing the return of the Taliban.

Many councils have liaised with local private landlords to find suitable accommodation and have trawled their own social housing stock but, according to The Times, this is insufficient in number and size. 

“The greatest challenge is that councils simply don't have enough vacant properties. We are looking at other options which could see councils renting properties of the right size or even purchasing them and adding them to their long-term housing stock” a government spokesperson has told the newspaper.

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So far councils are believed to have been offered about £10,000 per Afghan refugee to help provide them with accommodation and support.

Boris Johnson has said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have worked with us to make Afghanistan a better place over the last 20 years.

“Many of them, particularly women, are in urgent need of our help. I am proud that the UK has been able to put in place this route to help them and their families live safely in the UK.”

And Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has added: “There is already an enormous effort under way to support those arriving from Afghanistan, with close to a third of councils already stepping up to support new arrivals.

“However, we urgently need more offers of support to welcome Afghan families who have stood shoulder to shoulder with the UK, serving our troops and our country so bravely in recent years.

“With this extra support in place I'm calling on all councils who have not yet come forward to contact us with a firm offer of support to help our Afghan friends and their families as they build a new life in safety here.”

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