Council supports programme for refugees living in Kirklees

Houses in a row

Kirklees Council has announced plans to increase housing stock whilst making sure vulnerable families have access to safe places to call home.

The Government has provided local authorities with access to the Local Authority Housing Fund so that they can provide housing for Ukrainian and Afghan families fleeing conflict and violence in their own countries. This funding is then matched by each local authority to allow them to create additional housing to meet local needs.  

Kirklees has decided to use the funding to convert or refurbish existing council properties to provide larger homes and to purchase existing properties from the market. They will then use additional Government funding to carry out any repair works the properties need to make sure they are of a suitable standard. 

The scheme aims to supplement the council’s existing housing offer and is in addition to ongoing plans to buy back council houses previously sold through the right to buy scheme and ongoing projects to build new homes.

The Council plans to deliver 28 homes in total.

Councillor Cathy Scott, Cabinet Member for Housing and Democracy, said:

“We have all seen the devastating impact of war on Ukraine, including homes destroyed and displacement of people. As a district, we have opened our hearts and, in some cases, homes to provide a safe place for those who sought refuge in the UK. Now we need to prepare for the future, wars do not always end quickly, and people need to be able to continue with their lives whilst sanctuary is sought here. Providing homes for those from Afghanistan and Ukraine is one way we can help with that.

“This scheme cements Kirklees as a place of welcome. The short-term benefits of using the Government funding to provide additional homes for these families will lead to longer-term benefits for anyone who needs a council home in the future as our overall affordable housing stock will be increased.”

The acquisition of properties will begin following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 15 March 2023.