The Independent reported on Wednesday, that Afghan refugees who were evacuated to the UK in the wake of the Taliban takeover are set to be evicted from their hotels.
Almost two years after arriving in Britain, almost 8,000 Afghans remain in hotels sponsored by the Home Office, with relocation schemes criticized over their failure to resettle refugees in properties.
But a new letter distributed by the Home Office warns Afghans who remain in hotels that existing payment support for their accommodation will end on May 2.
In March, the government announced its intentions to end the accommodation support, but it was thought that all Afghan refugees would be offered a property to move to.
But now the scheme is only pledging to find housing for some families, while providing guidance to others on finding private rentals.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: “Although it is right that Afghan families have access to permanent homes, the government must guarantee today that these refugees who have fled danger will not be made homeless.”
The Home Office letter says: “We will provide as much support as we can to help you make your own accommodation arrangements.
“This includes support through the existing Find Your Own Accommodation scheme in the private rental sector.
“From May 2, the existing matching process will cease to exist … It is likely that most people will not receive an allocation through the new process, and we encourage you to find your own accommodation wherever possible.”
The move applies to those who arrived in the UK under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme and the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.
Enver Solomon, Refugee Council CEO, warned that it was “entirely unreasonable” to expect Afghan refugees to find affordable housing given the short notice of the letter.
He added: “We are deeply concerned about the approach taken by the Home Office, which is likely to lead to Afghans being left homeless and destitute on our streets.
“This is not how those who fled the Taliban and were promised a warm welcome in the UK should be treated.”