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26/08/2021

Khan extends right-to-buy-back to help Afghan refugees

Words: Huw Morris
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London mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans to help social landlords support the arrival of Afghan refugees.

The government has pledged to resettle up to 20,000 Afghan refugees after the Taliban’s sudden ascendancy to power this month.

Khan is now expanding his right-to-buy-back fund to help boroughs purchase former council homes that can be used to resettle families arriving from Afghanistan. Housing associations are also being encouraged to apply for funding for suitable homes that can be delivered speedily.

In response to the emergency, the mayor has signalled his intention to provide increased funding for family-sized homes purchased through the programme.

“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. “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.”

The mayor unveiled the fund last month to help councils and council-owned housing companies to acquire homes that will then be let at social rent levels or used as accommodation for homeless families. All properties bought under the scheme must meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard and its funding is part of the mayor’s affordable homes programme 2016-2023.

Image credit | John Smith 2021-Shutterstock

 

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