Homes are set to be bought in Bracknell to accommodate refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Bracknell Forest Council has agreed to buy seven three-bedroom homes and one four-bedroom home in the area to resettle those fleeing wars and reduce pressure on its housing stock.

Of those, seven will go to refugees, and the four-bedroom home will go to a family currently living in temporary accommodation.

The council will also refurbish two three-bedroom properties in its existing housing stock.

At a council executive committee meeting, members agreed to let the council’s housing department go ahead with the project and approved spending from the council’s budget.

Councillor Dale Birch (Conservative, Little Sandhurst and Wellington), the executive member for housing, said: “In doing this, we are also not applying pressure to the current housing waiting lists, so this is not going to place undue pressure for this number of families on the existing system.”

He also thanked officers for working quickly to find appropriate properties for those “most in need” and devising “concrete proposals.”

Cllr Paul Bettison OBE (Conservative, Little Sandhurst and Wellington), the leader of the council, added: “Housing is the most fundamental part of the constituent part of people’s wellbeing, and if you have somewhere to call home, the world seems a better place, and for those who are not in that happy position, things need to be done.”

The council is set to spend a maximum of £3.4 million from its capital budget to acquire the homes proposed.

The project is partly funded by the Department of Levelling Up Communities and Housing (DLUHC) through the Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF) grant, which will account for £1.26 million of the spend.

That fund is provided for meeting the needs of those who have arrived in the UK Ukrainian and Afghan resettlement and relocation schemes.

Meanwhile,  £305,322 will be spent on buying the four-bedroom home mentioned in the policy.

The decision to pursue the project was agreed upon unanimously by the executive committee on Tuesday, March 21.

Because of the costs involved, the project will need ultimate approval in a vote by the full council.

Once that vote goes ahead, the seven three-bedroom homes will be bought and prepared for future occupants, with refurbishment work commencing on the two three-bedroom homes.

All of the acquired homes will be for rent.

It’s been calculated that the council would gain a total of £96,000 for rent of the seven three-bedroom homes, and £18,500

Also, it is calculated the council will avoid costs of up to £280,000 based on a night to put seven large households in bed & breakfast accommodation.