AFGHANS who risked their lives working alongside UK forces in Afghanistan are being temporarily homed at barracks in Larkhill. 

There are approximately 40 transitional Service Family Accommodation (SFA) houses available in Larkhill plus additional settled homes across the area which will operate on a rolling basis with each family expected to move in and out within a six-week period. 

In total, the MOD has offered 700 Service Family Accommodation (SFA) homes to Local Authorities for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) for those eligible Afghan families with more suitable, settled housing. A further 200 SFA homes has been provided for transitional purposes. 

Read more: Shock as Downton Cuckoo Fair cancelled

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “We are honouring our commitment to those brave Afghans that supported the UK mission in Afghanistan. So far, we have brought around 24,600 people to safety from Afghanistan, including thousands of deserving Afghans eligible for our Afghan resettlement schemes. 

“To ensure families can begin a settled life in the UK as quickly as possible, the UK Government is offering transitional and settled accommodation from the Defence Estate, including at Larkhill.”

The properties offered are not being used by service families and it is not intended to provide an open resettlement scheme for all Afghans wishing to relocate to the UK. 

Read more: Police want to speak to this man regarding backpack theft

Government departments collaborated to ensure suitable accommodation solutions were available for those eligible Afghans. The MOD liaises daily with the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) on this core priority while working with local authorities to minimise the impact on the local community.

Leader of Wiltshire Council, Councillor Richard Clewer, said: “We are working with our Ministry of Defence colleagues as they make preparations to welcome a number of Afghan families under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme into Wiltshire this month.

“These families will be welcomed into MOD transitional Service Family Accommodation (SFA) for a period of around six weeks until more permanent homes are provided.

“While the MOD is organising the package of support and care, we are ready to provide any additional support around schools, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) support and registration for NHS support."

This is different to the joint resettled scheme between Wiltshire Council, the Home Office and the MOD to provide homes for Afghan families for a period of up to three years in Wiltshire.

MP Danny Kruger said: "I’m very pleased that a number of Afghan families have been able to leave Pakistan and move into safety within my constituency. 

"I have made several representations to the Ministry of Defence asking them to release housing stock for refugees and those in need of urgent and temporary housing within Wiltshire. It’s very encouraging this has now been possible. 

"Earlier this month I wrote to the Home Office to seek clarification on what the plans for these families will be long term, after the initial six-week period agreed with the Ministry of Defence."