British minister calls for permanent homes for refugees from Afghanistan

The UK government has been urged to find homes for thousands of refugees from Afghanistan who are living in hotels and could be left homeless after being told to leave by the end of the month.

Veterans’ minister, Johnny Mercer, who fought in Afghanistan as a soldier, has appealed for private landlords to provide accommodation at standard rental prices, funded by the taxpayer, for the refugees who were taken to the UK following the Taliban’s takeover.

He told The Times newspaper that there was “no reason” why anyone should be left homeless and that there needs to be a “national effort” to find homes for refugees from Afghanistan.

However, he also said that the refugees should “manage their expectations” and be prepared to move out of more expensive areas, such as London and the southeast.

Official figures show hundreds have turned down offers of accommodation.

Mercer said he had not met anyone who could not find accommodation, but that some had unrealistic expectations about where they wanted to live.

He said the government was spending £1 million a day on hotels for Afghans who are eligible for resettlement, and that this was not a long-term solution.

He added that the UK had a “duty” to help those who had helped the UK in the past, and that he would “take it personally” if anyone was left sleeping rough at the end of this process.

The British government has allocated an extra £35 million to help rehouse refugees, and another £250 million for councils.

It has also launched a “housing portal” where people can offer their accommodation to refugees from Afghanistan.