London: Some of the 7,000 Afghan refugees who are currently being housed in hotels are likely still to be in emergency hotel accommodation by the end of the year, the head civil servant in the Home Office indicated under questioning from MPs. Matthew Rycroft, the permanent secretary at the department, said on Wednesday he hoped to make progress with the process of moving refugees from Afghanistan from hotels into more permanent accommodation within two months, but added that “clearly for some people it will take a lot longer”. The 7,000 Afghan refugees in hotels are in addition to a further 8,000 asylum seekers who were already being housed in hotels before the sudden evacuation of families from Kabul in August.
About 70 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are being housed in hotels, 16 of whom are aged under 16. MPs on the home affairs select committee expressed doubt over whether the hotel accommodation was suitable for children who have travelled to the UK alone. Rycroft said that there had been a shortage of offers of permanent housing from councils around the country.
Read more: Amelia Gentleman, Guardian, https://is.gd/O4Kbut