Minister acknowledges Afghan refugees could put pressure on UK housing stock

1 September 2021, 08:19 | Updated: 1 September 2021, 09:40

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Afghan resettlement minister Victoria Atkins acknowledged resettling Afghans could add extra pressure on the already strained housing stock.

Questioned by LBC's Nick Ferrari as to where Afghan refugees are going to be housed the minister admitted it was a challenge.

She told LBC that "at least a third of councils have made firm offers of support."

The Minister said she did "acknowledge the concerns in particular about housing."

She said efforts to house Afghan refugees would go hand in hand with government efforts to increase housing stock in general.

The UK government has committed to offer refuge up to 20,000 Afghan refugees, around 5,000 under a scheme open to current or former directly-employed staff, with a further 15,000 resettled on the basis of need.

Around £5m has been earmarked to fund housing through local authorities, some of which may have to be spent buying appropriate properties.

Nick Ferrari asked the Minister if this would see Afghan national "promoted" over Brits on the housing list.

"I don't think it's quite as clear cut as that," the Minister replied.

Adding the government was continuing work to bolster social housing and "get more houses built."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "Our country has a proud history of helping those in need.

"We will prove that once again through our support for the Afghan people we've welcomed to the UK."