Afghan refugees who served alongside UK armed forces to be housed at RAF Henlow

They will live in the vacant properties at the base
RAF Henlow. Picture: Google MapsRAF Henlow. Picture: Google Maps
RAF Henlow. Picture: Google Maps

Central Bedfordshire Council has approved funding to house Afghan refugees in disused properties at an RAF base after they risked their lives serving alongside the UK Armed Forces and Government.

Fifteen Afghan refugee families are to be housed for three years in vacant Ministry of Defence (MoD) properties at RAF Henlow.

The schemes will prioritise those who are at risk under Taliban control because they helped the UK’s efforts in Afghanistan in standing up for values like democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech and the rule of law. Funding from the Home Office will take families out of temporary accommodation and into settled housing for three years, at zero cost to the council. During this time, they will “integrate into the UK and make their own decisions on future accommodation opportunities”.

Cllr Steven Watkins, Central Bedfordshire Council’s executive member for business, housing and public assets, said: “As a compassionate and responsible local authority, we recognise the plight of those who risked their lives in support of the UK's Armed Forces and His Majesty’s Government in Afghanistan, and we aim to provide a safe haven for them.

“This decision, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence, will enable people to live their best lives and support them to be independent, while helping to improve

educational outcomes for children and enhance the overall well-being of refugee families.”

The council has already supported the resettlement of six Afghan families since 2021 and approved the purchase of 12 homes for Afghan refugee resettlement in October 2023.