Sadiq Khan announces 600 new homes for Ukrainian and Afghan refugees

The affordable homes aim to support Ukrainians and Afghans fleeing conflict

Sadiq Khan has announced funding for up to 600 new homes in London for Ukrainian and Afghan refugees.

The Mayor of London said the accommodation provided by the Refugee Housing Programme (RHP) would support Ukrainians and Afghans who have fled conflict and are homeless, at risk of homelessness or living in unsuitable temporary accommodation.

The mayor’s office says there are currently 16,000 Ukrainian refugees living in London under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and hundreds of Afghans accommodated in Home Office bridging accommodation sites in the capital.

The new affordable housing programme - which is set to run until 31 March next year - aims to ease the expected pressure on local accommodation schemes as bridging accommodation sites and the initial six-month Homes for Ukraine commitment comes to an end.

Sadiq Khan has announced funding for up to 600 new homes in London for refugees (Photo: PA)Sadiq Khan has announced funding for up to 600 new homes in London for refugees (Photo: PA)
Sadiq Khan has announced funding for up to 600 new homes in London for refugees (Photo: PA)

Mr Khan said he has allocated £126 million to the RHP from the government’s £500 million Local Authority Housing Fund. This money will be used to fund new homes, including refurbishing existing or newly acquired houses, buying new-build properties or developing new homes.

In the long term, the homes delivered through the RHP will be returned to councils and housing associations to become social or affordable rented homes available for Londoners on the housing waiting list or who require temporary accommodation.

Mr Khan said: “I’m committed to supporting refugees who have come here to rebuild their lives and do everything I can to help them thrive in their local community.

“That’s why I’ve announced a new programme which will see City Hall deliver up to 600 affordable homes for Ukrainians and Afghans fleeing conflict, giving those who have been through such harrowing upheaval the stability they deserve.

“I’m doing all I can to build a better and fairer London for everyone by helping councils house refugees through my existing Right to Buy-back fund, and I’m helping migrants and refugees navigate the complex immigration system by funding advice services to provide new arrivals with key information about their rights.”

The mayor also called on the government to dedicate more services to assisting refugees. He said: “There are still too many refugees living in unsuitable accommodation.

“We need the government to urgently step up and provide the right funding to local authorities, the voluntary sector and immigration advice services so that every refugee in need has the home and support they need.”

The announcement comes on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will today lead a national minute’s silence in London to mark the anniversary, with G7 leaders set to meet to discuss the ongoing conflict.

The UK remains a prominent supporter of Kyiv, with the government announcing earlier this year that Britain would be the first country to supply tanks to its armed forces.

Sunak will use a call with G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, to “move faster” in arming Volodymyr Zelensky’s resistance against the invasion, but fears remain that the war could continue for at least another year, even as Ukraine insists that further support and weaponry can help bring the conflict to a conclusion.

Britain has also announced a new package of sanctions, imposing an export ban on every piece of equipment Russia has been found using on the battlefield in Ukraine.