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Published on 7 March 2023
Archived on 7 April 2023
Stratford-on-Avon District Council has been allocated £2.35m of support for its refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine from the Government's £500m Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF), which will be used to provide an additional 17 homes in the District both to accommodate refugees in the short term and to provide a welcome boost to the District's capacity for affordable housing in the longer term.
This national fund was made available to those authorities who are currently accommodating the highest level of refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine. The residents of the District have been incredibly generous in providing refuge following the war in Ukraine, and at present there are 85 households with Ukrainian guests.
The LAHF is designed to help provide additional affordable housing for these groups. In the long run, it is the Government's intention that when refugees no longer require these homes, the homes are offered to other people on councils' housing waiting lists.
Under the conditions of the grant, it will be necessary to deliver these additional affordable homes by November this year.
The District Council was faced with an incredibly tight timescale in which to participate in this initiative by formally signing up to the scheme by 15 March 2023. The District Council undertook a competitive selection process (in this short timescale) which has resulted in Platform Housing Group being identified as the preferred partner to help the District Council deliver these new homes.
At the meeting of The Cabinet, which was held on 6 March 2023, this issue was considered as an urgent item. It was agreed that the District Council should accept the Government offer of support and work with Platform Housing Group to implement the scheme.
Following the decision of Cabinet, Councillor Jo Barker, Portfolio Holder for Homes, Health and Wellbeing said: "Firstly, I would like to thank again the generosity of our residents who have made their homes available to those fleeing the illegal war in Ukraine, and those Afghans who helped our armed forces.
"The Local Authority Housing Fund will help provide accommodation for these refugees in the short term and longer term will provide additional affordable homes for our residents. Platform Housing Group is working with a number of other Council's on this scheme, and I welcome the opportunity to work with Platform."
Marion Duffy, Platform's Chief Operations Officer said: "We're delighted to be partnering with the Council on this project. This scheme will provide much needed affordable homes for the district and we look forward to welcoming the new residents."
Following the urgent decision of The Cabinet, the District Council will enter into a formal agreement with Platform Housing Group and the Government to deliver this scheme by November 2023.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575