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Roughly 8,500 Afghan refugees that escaped the clutches of the Taliban are to be taken out of the British hotels they are currently living in, the Government is due to announce on Tuesday. Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer is expected to tell the House of Commons that the Government is committed to finding a permanent home for the Afghan refugees, many of whom acted on behalf of Britain in Afghanistan.
The Telegraph reports that ministers are planning to commit as much as £750million to support the Afghans to find homes so that they can build new lives in Britain.
Afghans in hotels will be given three months’ notice in April that they need to vacate their current accommodation and will be offered a single property that they must accept.
If families turn down the home they are offered, they will need to present as homeless. Likewise, if they’re not granted a property within the three-month period, they will also have to present as homeless.
Reform UK leader Richard Tice told Express.co.uk: “Afghans who supported the British forces and have come here under the legal safe route should be helped to build a new life, showing how generous we are to those who come lawfully.
“Anyone who comes here illegally should be deported.”
According to research from the National Housing Federation, in 2021 there were 4.2 million people in the UK in “housing need”.
The research also found that “293,000 children are living in homes that are unsuitable for their needs or health requirements, while 283,000 are living with their families in other people’s homes – effectively homeless – as they cannot afford a home of their own.”
This comes as the Government appears set to start moving asylum seekers from hotels onto former military bases.
Express.co.uk understands that the Home Office will start moving asylum seekers onto a former World War Two air base in north Essex, MDP Wethersfield.
A source living on MDP Wethersfield said the deputy head of establishment at the base has informed families that asylum seekers will be brought onto site next week – on April 1.
A campaigner from The Fields Association, which opposes the relocation, said: “This is completely the wrong place for asylum seekers, [it is] completely inappropriate”.
According to Home Office figures, it is costing the taxpayer £1million a day to house Afghan refugees in hotels.
In the nine months to September 2022, figures provided to the Commons Home Affairs committee showed the Government had forked out nearly £300million on housing Afghans in hotels.
However that figure pales into insignificance compared to the £5.6million a day the Government is spending on the 51,000 asylum seekers being housed in hotels. In the nine months to September it has cost the taxpayer £5.6 billion.
In response to the accusations levelled at the Home Office by locals and residents on the base, a Government spokesperson said: “We have always been upfront about the unprecedented pressure being put on our asylum system, brought about by a significant increase in dangerous and illegal journeys into the country.
“We continue to work across government and with local authorities to identify a range of accommodation options.
“The Government remains committed to engaging with local authorities and key stakeholders as part of this process.”
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