Afghan and Ukrainian refugees who have fled to the UK are set to get council housing in four Berkshire towns. 

Seven homes have currently been secured in Calcot, Thatcham, Newbury and Hungerford.

The dwellings, a mix of houses and flats, have been bought by West Berkshire Council as part of a £9 million project that involves buying accommodation.

In total, 27 homes will be provided throughout West Berkshire for people who have arrived through government resettlement schemes. 

Work continues to deliver the remaining accommodation – both by buying properties and converting West Point House in Newbury into apartments.

West Point House was previously a council office but has been deemed surplus to the council's needs, and is therefore being repurposed. 

The remaining homes are due to be secured by early spring this year.

Councillor Denise Gaines (Liberal Democrats, Hungerford and Kintbury), executive member for housing said: "This scheme will help us to support vulnerable people who have moved to our district from areas of the world which are unsafe for them. 

“It will allow them a place to settle and in time, as they move on, leave us with accommodation we can use across our wider housing service.

"This project has been enabled through central Government funding, as well as West Berkshire Council funding and is in addition to the support we already provide.

“It means we can help those arriving under settlement schemes without impacting on the services we provide for residents who need our help now or in the future."

The housing project is being part-funded by the Government through its Local Authority Housing Fund. It was set up to help councils manage the impact on its housing stock when supporting refugees arriving in the UK.

West Berkshire Council has been allocated £3.6 million, which is capped at 40-50 per cent of the costs accrued by the council. 

The refugees from Ukraine fled the country in increasing numbers following a full-scale invasion from the armed forces of Russia in 2022. The high-intensity conflict will reach its second year on February 24. 

People have been fleeing Afghanistan for years as a result of an ongoing war, with a greater wave of people fleeing in 2021 when the United States armed forces evacuated the country. 

That cleared the way for the Taliban to take control of the country, sparking fears of reprisals for Afghans who collaborated with occupying Western forces.