More than 8,000 empty houses owned by the MoD should be used to accommodate Ukrainian refugees, Lib Dems urge
- MoD owns 8,704 empty houses, some which have been vacant for up to 27 years
- They are among 48,060 homes the MoD owns across Britain for its personnel
- Lib Dems calling for the properties to be used for the Homes for Ukraine scheme
Thousands of empty houses owned by the Ministry of Defence must be used to accommodate refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, the Liberal Democrats have urged.
The party’s call came after a Freedom of Information request revealed that the MoD owns 8,704 houses that are lying empty, some of which have been vacant for as long as 27 years.
The empty properties are among 48,060 homes the MoD owns across Britain for its personnel under the Service Family Accommodation scheme.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the Government launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme on March 14, which allowed Britons to voluntarily to host Ukrainian refugees in their homes.
Latest figures show that 11,100 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK under the scheme, out of 65,900 applications.
The Ministry of Defence owns 8,704 empty houses, an FOI request has found – they with must be used to accommodate refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, the Liberal Democrats have urged. Pictured, the MoD building in Whitehall, London
However, if the Ukraine war drags on for months and even years, it is not clear if the British hosts will be able to accommodate the Ukrainian refugees for such a duration.
Jamie Stone, the Lib Dems Defence Spokesman – who made the FOI request – said last night that MoD houses should be used instead, taking the burden off British families.
He said: ‘Britain has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those fleeing conflict or persecution. But the Government has failed to match the compassion of the British people.
‘If these houses are fit-for-purpose, safe and clean, they could and should be used to house refugees who are awaiting permanent resettlement.
‘With dreadful scenes in Ukraine unfolding with every passing day, the Ministry of Defence has not a moment to lose.’
In the FOI release, the MoD admitted it has too many empty houses, with 18 per cent lying empty.
The MoD did not give a response last night.
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