Council to use builders’ cash to buy homes for refugees in Exeter

More than £300,000 from developers building in Exeter will be added to government cash to buy four properties in the city to house Afghan refugees.

Money paid by developers building in and around Exeter will be used to support families in need of homes, writes local democracy reporter Guy Henderson.

The city council will take almost £300,000 out of ‘Section 106’ money handed over by developers to go towards buying four properties which will initially be for refugee families from Afghanistan.

Many such refugees worked for British forces during conflicts in their own country, putting their lives in danger. The homes will be used for local families once the Afghans are re-settled.

The Government pays around half the cost and asks local councils to come up with the rest. Exeter’s share will come from the Section 106 pot contributed by developers.

Exeter City Council will get nearly £600,000 from the government, and will buy former council housing stock on the open market. A report to the executive committee said buying new homes would cost too much.

Seven families from Afghanistan have already been given homes under two previous rounds of funding.

Cllr Matthew Vizard (Lab, Newtown and St Leonards) said: “Exeter is a welcoming city to all people in need, and there is clearly a benefit to our housing provision in the medium and long term.”

And Cllr Marina Asvachin (Lab, Priory) added: “I very much welcome this. There is no downside to it.”

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