Skip to main content

Home Office stops feeding hundreds of Afghan refugees stuck in hotel limbo

THE Home Office has stopped feeding hundreds of Afghan refugees still living in hotels, an investigation has found.

Ministers pledged to “find homes for all” of the 8,000 Afghans brought to Britain under its resettlement scheme by September.

But more than 500 – including 300 children – remain in local authority accommodation, openDemocracy has found.

A government spokeswoman confirmed that Afghans remaining in hotels would no longer be provided with food or laundry facilities.

She said: “Our data shows that less than 15 per cent of the families that were in bridging hotels have been accepted as homeless and are now in local authority temporary accommodation.

“The homelessness system acts as a safety net and ensures no family will be left without a roof over their head.

“Local authorities have been provided with £35 million of new funding to support Afghan households to move from hotels into settled accommodation and we will continue to support councils in their efforts.”

OpenDemocracy, which sent freedom of information requests to every local authority in England, said that at least 25 local councils have been left responsible for preventing more than 500 Afghans becoming homeless.

The true number is likely to be higher as 19 councils did not respond to the news site’s request for figures.

One father said he felt “terrible” his wife and three children have been forced to survive on pizzas and takeaway food after their meals were withdrawn overnight.

He said he had worked as an interpreter for British forces and fought the Taliban alongside them.

He was among 15,000 Afghans airlifted to Britain during Operation Pitting in August 2021 after the Taliban takeover.

Shadow armed forces minister Luke Pollard said: “It is unacceptable that Afghans are facing homelessness after being booted out of bridging hotels and even more shameful that some Afghans cannot properly feed their children.”

The Refugee Council said: “It’s vital that we make good on our promises to the brave Afghans who stood alongside British forces against the Taliban.

“It’s extremely worrying to hear of Afghan refugees struggling to feed their families while they live in limbo in temporary accommodation, without any kind of security and certainty over what the future holds.

“Instead of betrayal, our Afghan allies should be properly welcomed and given a chance to start their lives again in the UK.”

The Home Office said that families being provided with “interim accommodation” until December would need to pay for their meals and laundry.

They include individuals and their households who are receiving medical treatment from a specific hospital or medical facility and those who have been “pre-matched” with a property that is not ready for them to move into yet.


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.



Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 12,481
We need:£ 5,519
7 Days remaining
Donate today