The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today set out plans to help councils and housing associations across the capital to support the arrival of Afghan refugees.
The Mayor is expanding his new Right to Buy-back fund to help councils buy homes that can be used to resettle families arriving from Afghanistan, while housing associations are also being encouraged to apply for funding for suitable homes that can be delivered at pace.
London has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need and the Mayor has made clear that he wants to do everything in his power to support Afghan refugees to establish a long-term future in the city.
That’s why he has today invited London councils to submit bids to his Right to Buy-back fund, which allows them to buy former council homes back from the private sector. In recognition of the emergency situation, the Mayor has signalled his intention to provide increased funding for family-sized homes purchased through the programme.
The Mayor announced the fund last month to help councils and council-owned housing companies acquire homes that will then be let at social rent levels or used as accommodation for homeless families.
Sadiq has welcomed the Government’s commitment to resettle up to 20,000 Afghan refugees, but continues to call on Ministers to give London boroughs the support they need to provide accommodation, healthcare and education to refugees, as well as settle into their communities.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It has been devastating to watch the crisis unfold in Afghanistan and I’m determined to do everything in my power to support those escaping the country.
“London has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need and by working together we can help these refugees find a welcoming home in our city.
“That’s why I’m inviting borough councils to use my Right to Buy-back fund to acquire homes for refugees, as well as Londoners in housing need, and am urging housing associations to bid for funding to secure homes for these families. I will continue to call on Ministers to provide the further support needed to help them secure their long-term future in our city.”
Dr Nooralhaq Nasimi, Director of Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, said: “With the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan many Afghan refugees will be desperately looking for a safe place to call home.
“I am proud that the Mayor of London and London councils are leading the way in welcoming Afghan refugees and taking active steps to help accommodate them when they arrive and seek to build new lives in the city.”