We are asking for those who may have an empty property that is available for a minimum of one year to step forward to assist with the Afghan refugee crisis.

Local authorities across the UK have been advised by central government that family accommodation is desperately required. Once a property has been identified the government will match it with an Afghan refugee family in need.

Cllr Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council said; “In Torbay this summer we have seen record numbers of homeless households in need of temporary accommodation, as well as seeing record numbers on our housing waiting list. It is no exaggeration to say that we have a housing crisis due to the lack of supply and consequently we have been having to place homeless households in temporary accommodation as far away as Weston-super-Mare and Glastonbury. As well as supporting local residents we also need to play our part in supporting Afghan refugees.

“My heart is going out to those in Afghanistan as we see the withdrawal of military personnel played out on our television screens. We have been reviewing with officers over a number of weeks to see if there is a way that we can support refugees, including those Afghanis who have put their lives on the line to help our armed forces. It is galling that the crisis in Afghanistan is with us at the same time as we face a housing crisis in Torbay. In order for Torbay to assist we need the help of our local communities to identify suitable properties.”

Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council said; “Torbay has a great tradition of helping refugees, with Brixham particularly supporting those from Belgium during the second world war. More recently in 2016 and 2017 we provided sanctuary to four Syrian families under the Government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. With your help, we’d like to ensure Afghani families are given the same opportunity to live a healthy and safe life.”

Anyone that is able to offer a family home is urged to contact us at community.safetyadmin@torbay.gov.uk.

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