National relocation programme in Dudley
A small number of Afghans who aided British troops by developing crucial lines of communication to support the war effort will be setting up home in the borough as part of a national relocation programme.
Dudley Council bosses have welcomed the move to bring 20 families who risked their lives for Britain on the frontline – and insisted they would not be jumping in front of local people currently on the housing waiting list.
The families are war veterans who served on the front line, risking their lives to protect British troops with interpretation and translation services.
The government is keen to show its appreciation with a national scheme to allow them to relocate to the UK.
Council bosses have given the green light for 20 families to come to the borough, with the first families expected to arrive over the summer.
They will have access to housing and services as part of the settlement, which is all completely government funded.
The council already has a priority system running for British war veterans to access housing and accommodation, but housing bosses are keen to ensure the support given to the new families does not impact on anyone already on the waiting list.
Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing and community services, said:
The sacrifice many of these people made in Afghanistan to help protect British troops is extremely moving, and, like local authorities across the country, of course we are happy to help. “The government funded scheme will mean they will be able to relocate from Afghanistan to our borough and we have set a maximum of 20 families to come here.
We will be able to access a range of private and social housing so there shouldn’t be any impact on local people already on the housing waiting list.
We will be working with the families to make sure they have a home in the borough in the most sensible and fair way.
The government is running the scheme to support locally employed staff in Afghanistan, often working in dangerous and challenging situations, in recognition of their commitment and bravery shown supporting UK forces since 2013.
The Afghani families will also be relocating to other parts of the Black Country.