Councils are pledging to help permanently house Afghan refugees that are currently residing in Hertfordshire hotels, after the government has called for help.

It comes after former Watford MP and current refugee minster, Lord Harrington, appealed to all councils to help house 10,500 Afghans who are is still living in hotels.

This week, some refugees have told the press how they have been left in limbo, such as one woman saying her family’s “lives are paused” until they have permanent accommodation.


As of yesterday (August 5) there were 366 Afghans residing in hotels across Hertfordshire, with a county council spokesperson stating “a majority” are placed in and around Watford, Three Rivers and Hertsmere areas.

Watford Borough Council says it has been hard at work in assuring that they will find a new place to call home.

Councillor Jennifer Pattinson, portfolio holder for housing and wellbeing said: “We know how hard it has been for these families to leave their homes and start a new life in the UK and, since December 2021, Watford Borough Council has assisted around 20 Afghan refugees with accommodation and support as part of the government’s scheme. 

“Assisting more Afghan households out of hotels is being dealt with at a regional level so we are part of a bigger picture of support, along with other councils in the East of England region.”

Watford Observer: The community pulled together last year at Bushey United Synagogue to Afghan families. Credit: Bushey United SynagogueThe community pulled together last year at Bushey United Synagogue to Afghan families. Credit: Bushey United Synagogue

The council explained that the government is providing thee years of financial help to councils support refugees in their areas.

In Hertsmere, deputy leader Cllr Caroline Clapper said: “Hertsmere Borough Council is committed to supporting all vulnerable households which includes any refugees living in the borough or being supported by our homelessness team.

“We have been and will continue to work closely with charity partners, Hertfordshire County Council and housing associations to ensure tailored support is provided to those who have fled their home countries.”

When Lord Harrington made his case, he said that Afghans living in UK hotels costs taxpayers £1million a day.

The Home Office said homes have already been found for more than 7,000 Afghan evacuees.

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