Sadiq Khan has announced details of new support for Afghan refugees arriving in London after fleeing the Taliban.
Yesterday the mayor encouraged councils to use his expanded ‘right to buy back’ fund, which helps local authorities buy ex council homes back from private use, to provide accommodation for resettled Afghans. He has also pledged to provide funding for larger, family-sized homes through the scheme.
Khan has welcomed the government’s commitment to resettle up to 20,000 Afghan refugees in particular danger from the Taliban, but has said councils will need more support to provide them with accommodation, healthcare and education.
“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,” Khan said yesterday (August 26).
“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.”