Islington to buy back 80 former council homes – with 20 earmarked for Afghan refugees

Photograph: (Creative Commons)

The Town Hall has been given money to buy back 80 former council homes – 20 of them for refugees fleeing Afghanistan.

It is the first London council to win funds from the Mayor of London’s Right to Buy Back scheme, launched earlier this year.

The council will use some of the money to buy three- or four-bedroom homes for families who have arrived in the UK from Afghanistan.

Last month it pledged to accommodate and support up to 15 Afghan households in Islington before the end of the year.

Diarmaid Ward, Islington’s executive member for housing and development, said: “Islington has a long and proud history of offering sanctuary to people in need, and we stand ready to help Afghan refugees in every way we can.

“We also want to accommodate as many households facing homelessness in our borough as possible, and make sure everyone has a place to call home which is secure, decent and genuinely affordable.”

He said the 80 family-sized homes would “make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of people”.

Islington will also work closely with the community, voluntary sector, schools and health services to give the new residents support as they settle in.

Councils will get £20,520 government funding per person over three years for resettlement and integration costs, including housing.

They will also get  up to £4,500 per child fro education, £850 for English language help for adults and £2,600 to cover healthcare.