Council renovates 500 empty homes to support Ukrainian refugees

Thousands of people fleeing conflict are currently housed in temporary accommodation in Scotland.

Hundreds of empty Aberdeen homes renovated to support Ukrainian refugees Aberdeen City Council

Up to 500 empty council properties are to be renovated to support refugees in Aberdeen.

The city’s council will spend £6.15m bringing the buildings, which have fallen into disrepair, back into use.

The move comes as part of the Scotland-wide effort to accommodate people displaced by the war in Ukraine.

The aim is to ensure improved access to longer-term housing options and reduce dependency on short-term accommodation.

Thousands of refugees in Scotland are living on cruise ships, while others remain in temporary accommodation including hotels and B&Bs.

STV News reported earlier this week of calls for clarity over plans to ask Ukrainian refugees living in temporary accommodation in Scotland to make a financial contribution towards their stay.

Neil Gray MSP, the minister in charge of the government’s refugee response, acknowledged that many Ukrainian’s being housed in Scotland are now in employment or in receipt of social security benefits.

In October, up to 60 Ukrainians living in Perthshire faced being removed from the Killin Hotel, at the head of Loch Tay, due to a government decision to end a contract earlier than planned.

However, a subsequent U-turn by the government was announced with ministers saying they would work with Stirling Council to “help them stay in the area whilst we support them to find long-term sustainable accommodation”.

Announcing the renovation plans, Aberdeen City Council say they have worked to support more than 1,100 people fleeing conflict from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria.

Councillor Miranda Radley, convener of the Communities, Housing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This investment will give people displaced by war in Ukraine a chance to resettle in our city and become part of our community. 

“We are providing a home in the very real sense of the word.

“Coupled with the humanitarian aid provided by residents, Aberdeen has become a place of sanctuary where families and individuals can rebuild their lives.”

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