MORE than £2 million is set to be used to build 17 new homes for refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine in Basildon.

The Government is set to hand Basildon Council in the region of £2.4 million to house the growing number of refugees living in the borough after fleeing war-torn countries.

In August 2021, Basildon Council leader Andrew Baggott insisted it would not allow refugees to apply for council homes in the borough.

However, homes will now be built specifically for refugees thanks to Government grant.

Laindon grandmother Pat Rackley, a former Labour councillor, said: “I understand the problem with Ukraine and I think the whole thing is a very difficult issue.


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“We have people in Basildon who are homeless, I know lots of families in Billericay have taken in refugees, and I know it’s a very difficult issue.

“I think it’s a real Catch-22 issue and we have lots of people supporting others who are going through tough times.

“There are lots of people living in Basildon who need help and support and I can really see both sides of the argument about this.

“I have ever sympathy with refugees and cannot imagine what they are going through. We do have so many in Basildon who are homeless and living in appalling conditions.”


The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has confirmed that the council is eligible for capital grant funding - a £500 million capital fund to ensure arrivals on Afghan and Ukraine schemes are provided with sufficient longer-term accommodation.

It comes after it was revealed Southend Council is set to get £1,392,000 in funding to provide a minimum of 12 homes for Ukrainian households living here as part of one of the official visa schemes established in 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

There will also be an additional £463,336 in additional funding to Southend Council to provide a minimum of two larger fourbedroom homes for Afghanistan households.

A Basildon Council spokesman said: “Basildon Council has drafted a Memorandum of Understanding with The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to receive approximately £2.4 million to go towards the provision of 17 longer-term homes for Ukrainian and Afghan families living in the borough.