As a district council we will be working with our partners to welcome and support Afghan refugees.
We had been standing by with other local authorities ready to help resettle Afghan families and the offer of homes in the district came as more information about the government scheme, known as Operation Warm Welcome, were announced.
Homes will be provided in the district's private rented sector and the council will work with partner agencies to provide ongoing support to the families as they begin their new lives in the UK.
Arrivals under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) have worked alongside the British Military and UK Government in the UK and will be given indefinite leave to remain.
What we are doing to help?
We have been contacting private landlords in the district to find suitable properties to provide homes for five families.
We have received a very positive response and work is ongoing and we hope that families will begin to move in during September.
These families are moving in under the government scheme known as the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). You can find out more information about the scheme here.
The government has set up a £5 million fund to assist councils to support households to access accommodation. Families currently on our social housing waiting list will not be disadvantaged by this additional support as we are not offering the homes from our existing council housing stock.
To help the families from Afghanistan we will be drawing on experience gained from helping in the Syrian resettlement programme (SRP).
Through this scheme the council and its partners have helped seven Syrian families to settle in the Folkestone & Hythe district, with a further three families due to move in over the coming months.
How will the refugees be supported?
We are working with our partners - Kent County Council, the NHS, the Home Office and local voluntary migrant support services.
We will be helping families to settle into the Folkestone & Hythe community and ensure that adults and children have access to education, health care and the support that they need.
Offers of accommodation
If you are a private landlord and would like to make accommodation available to help families please contact our landlord liaison officer on 01303 853339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have also pledged our support of accommodation through the government's website.
Other ways to help
Thank you for all the many offers of help from our residents. Several charities are asking for support so that help can reach those who need it. One of these is Migrant Help and you can offer donations here.
If you would like to volunteer then you can offer help through the Refugee Council.
Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)
The Home Office is also working to establish the details of this scheme which will provide protection for Afghan citizens identified as most at risk, such as women and girls.