Up to 12,000 of the 15,000 Afghan refugees evacuated to the UK after the Taliban takeover are still in hotels awaiting permanent homes
- Government cannot give a date for leaving ‘bridging housing’
- More than 300 local authorities have pledged support to find housing
- Operation Pitting saw British airlift rescue more than 15,000 Afghan refugees
Up to 12,000 of the 15,000 Afghan refugees who arrived after the Taliban takeover are still in hotels awaiting a permanent home, Parliament has been told.
Under pressure from Westminster, the government was unable to give a target date for moving people from temporary ‘bridge’ accommodation, amid concerns it would hinder their access to services, including education, and rebuild their lives.
But Home Secretary Baroness Williams of Trafford said the House of Lords’ work continued with more than 300 local authorities pledging support to find housing.
Up to 12,000 of the 15,000 Afghan refugees evacuated to the UK after the Taliban takeover are still in hotels awaiting permanent homes, Parliament has been told.
She said a complicating factor was that some families were “quite large” and that finding suitable accommodation was therefore “more of a challenge”.
Operation Pitting brought the British airlift to safety, with more than 15,000 people considered critically endangered by the Taliban for their role in assisting British forces during the 20-year campaign in Afghanistan.
In response to a question in the Upper House, Lady Williams told colleagues: ‘The cross-government effort to ensure that people were brought from Afghanistan to the UK as quickly as possible meant that it was not always possible to obtain advance support from local government to arrange. arrival.
‘In those cases we have provided a hotel bridge. About 12,000 Afghans live in 80 transition hotels.
‘This figure changes regularly as people go in and out of hotels.’
Former Tory Secretary of State Lord Young of Cookham, who raised the issue, said: “Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the government is to be commended for evacuating some 15,000 people to safety in the UK and for launching what she described as “one of the most generous plans in the history of our country” to resettle Afghan citizens.
“While many are indeed rebuilding their lives, too many, as we have just heard, are still trapped in hotels with their children unable to access school, with difficulties getting GP services and unable to work.” due to visa issues.
“Then can the minister give a target date for involving the judges, the doctors, the MPs and the other brave men and women who have worked alongside us in Afghanistan?”
Under pressure from Westminster, government could not give a target date for moving people from temporary ‘bridge’ accommodations
Although she cannot give a date, Lady Williams said: ‘However, we will continue to work with local authorities to find suitable accommodation for families evacuated to the UK as soon as possible.
“And we are very grateful to the 323 municipalities that have pledged their support.”
When asked how many people have been housed in permanent homes, Labor front bencher Lord Rosser added: ‘Because there is no shortage of local authorities ready to provide support.’
Lady Williams said: ‘We have brought 15,000 people here, 12,000 are in transition hotels.
‘In terms of no shortage of offers, that’s a little more complicated as some families are actually quite large and so finding accommodation suitable for larger families may be more challenging than it could be.
“But we’re working at a fast pace and across the government to give people permanent housing.”