Harlow hotel provides “bridging” accomodation for Afghan families

News / Thu 23rd Sep 2021 at 01:54pm

HARLOW has become the latest Essex town to provide ‘bridging’ accommodation for Afghan families, with a hotel in the town welcoming its first guests this week.

Bridging accommodation at hotels has been set up by the Home Office across the country, with hotels in Essex at Colchester, Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea also providing accommodation.

16 families are currently being supported in hotels in Chelmsford and Colchester and a further 22 are being supported in Harlow until suitable, sustainable housing can be found for them.

These families arrived in the country through the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy, having been ‘locally employed staff’ (for example, interpreters) in Afghanistan, or are being supported through the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS). ACRS provides protection for people at risk and identified as in need.

They are being supported by Essex County Council in terms of welfare and education needs for children and adults. Families have also been registered with local GP surgeries. Additional needs or requirements are being met through the Essex Welfare Service, who have set up collection points for donated items.

Essex Integration, a not-for-profit organisation is also providing integration support to families, and the local Essex Department for Work and Pensions service are also processing benefit claims. This is all part of the Team Essex approach.

Identifying and securing permanent homes for families is a work in progress, with housing staff from district and borough councils leading this part of the process along with ECC and the government department teams.

Two other hotels in Essex, at Birchanger Green near Bishop’s Stortford and Ardleigh near Colchester, are also providing Home Office-organised bridging accommodation for people including Afghan families. Councils and local GP surgeries are providing support until families are able to move on to new locations.

Last week Essex Local Authorities announced a new task force set up to find homes for Afghan families, with district, borough and city councils already working hard to bring forward the right sort of homes.


Donations coordinated by the Red Cross in Essex are still paused, while the existing items so generously given by Essex residents are distributed. Announcements will follow as soon as donations can be made again. Some local schemes are in operation where people can make donations.

Any private landlords who have suitable accommodation for families are reminded to contact their local city, borough or district council.

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6 Comments for Harlow hotel provides “bridging” accomodation for Afghan families:

2021-09-23 21:55:47

Comments sure are quiet. I’m waiting for the obligatory “what about Harlow people first” or something racist... Good to see someone actually helping these people.

2021-09-24 17:14:16

Khan. What is racist about helping our own people. We have homeless, families using food banks, elderly who can't eat and heat at the same time. Ohhh I give regularly to food banks before I'm asked what have I done.

2021-09-25 00:00:49

I said "What about harlow people first" or "Something racist". I didn't say helping Harlow people first was instinctively racist, but since you're incapable of understanding an IF and OR statement, let me help you out. A lot of people have lately been bashing the asylum seekers - I, being one of them from a previous generation, find it personally upsetting and angering when I see stupid things about helping people like me - every article saying "What about Harlow people first..." blah blah, and so on. What, what specifically about them? Most, have access to SOMETHING. These people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, etc - have absolutely NOTHING. They've lost their entire lives, they've had to leave everything behind. Can you comprehend what that is like? Because I can. And I can tell you, it's horrendously painful to live a life knowing you leave your family behind, only to find out half are dead or missing. Do not tell me you think that is a better choice than "helping Harlow people first...", because from where I stand, those people - are priority in this situation. Also, donating to a food bank doesn't make you a hero, nor does bragging about it online...

2021-09-25 06:57:10

Please note that the first racist comment was from Khan him(her)self.

2021-09-25 12:48:02

Khan. Actually my maternal great grandparents were immigrants and came here with nothing. Imagine being Austrian born and living here during the first world War. As a town and a Country we have and will bend over backwards to help refugees out. We maybe the fifth richest country in the world but we also have poverty. How many pensioners will die this winter because they can't keep warm. You sound bitter why is that? I hope you find peace within yourself.

Barry Warren Lewis
2021-12-24 06:33:11

Khan is the Racist

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