Partnership approach to supporting families leaving Afghanistan
We are working with local housing providers and other partners to offer support for families who have had to leave Afghanistan.
Updates about schemes and charities coordinating help will be added to this page as we have them.
The Home Office has committed to working at pace to protect vulnerable people fleeing Afghanistan. Read up to date information published by the Home office
Update: 6 September 2021
We are currently receiving a number of enquiries from residents keen to donate items and other support for families moving to the UK from Afghanistan.
We have been working closely with Basingstoke Voluntary Action who will be coordinating donations and offers of help from residents for families who could arrive in Basingstoke and the wider Hampshire area.
Private property owners may wish to help by offering accommodation for rent. Please note that only offers of self-contained family size accommodation can be considered. Properties must:
- pass a safety inspection
- be in good state of repair
- be available to let on tenancies of at least a 12-month period
- be managed by the property owner (or agent)
- be available to rent at below market rates, within Local Housing Allowance levels.
Find out more information about Local Housing Allowances here:
If you think you have a property which might be available on this basis please contact us at email@example.com and we will contact you to discuss in more detail.
The government has also set up a portal to collect and process offers of additional support (for example from organisations or companies). To register an offer please go to Afghanistan housing portal - offers of support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme
In April 2021, the government launched the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme to offer former locally employed staff in Afghanistan relocation opportunities and other assistance, in recognition of their commitment and bravery shown supporting UK forces since 2013.
Under the scheme, any current or former locally employed staff assessed to have a serious threat to life will be offered priority relocation to the UK.
Following the latest developments in Afghanistan, the scheme is being stepped up, with an initial four properties to be made available in the borough.
The council is working closely with Hampshire County Council, housing providers Sovereign and VIVID and the Social Inclusion Partnership to coordinate a range of support services for new families arriving in the borough.
Hampshire County Council will lead the response working closely with the Home Office.
In addition to this scheme, the government has announced an additional scheme – the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme – which will welcome up to 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan. The council and its partners are awaiting further guidance from the government on the support needed as part of this new scheme.
Alex Nagle, Director of Customer Service at VIVID, said: “We’ve all been struck by the sad events that have unfolded in Afghanistan over the last week. We want to do what we can, alongside our partners, to provide safe and secure homes for families relocating to the area, giving them the foundations to help rebuild their lives and have brighter futures.”
Luke Bingham, Housing Director for Sovereign, said: ”We’ll do all we can to support local authority partners and the government, fully embracing our role in re-housing those now forced to leave their homes in Afghanistan, who worked alongside and provided assistance to our own Armed Forces.”
Those who qualify and choose to relocate to the UK with their families will complete five years of limited leave and following this period, they can apply for permanent residence in the UK, free of charge, ensuring that they can settle here permanently and continue to build their lives and future here.