Scarborough Council is set to receive more than £700,000 of funding to acquire housing for Ukrainian and Afghan refugees within the borough.

A grant of £744,000 has been offered to Scarborough Council so it can acquire nine homes in the borough for Ukrainian and Afghan refugees.

The council’s cabinet will decide whether to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities for the funding.

If approved, it will be provided as match funding to enable registered providers (RPs) to acquire the homes.

As April’s local government shakeup is less than two months away, the agreement will be novated to the new North Yorkshire Council which will replace Scarborough Council.

The homes will provide “sustainable and affordable accommodation for both Ukrainian and Afghan Refugees” according to the council.

If and when refugees return to Ukraine or Afghanistan, the homes will form part of the general social housing stock.

According to a report prepared ahead of the cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 14, Scarborough and Harrogate Borough Councils are the only authorities within North Yorkshire to have been awarded an allocation.

More than 360 Ukrainian households have been welcomed to North Yorkshire with 60 Ukrainian and 28 Afghan households located in the borough of Scarborough.

The report states: “This act of generosity has unavoidably created additional demand for housing at a time when local authorities are already under strain.”

However, last year the authority announced its Better Homes Joint Venture plan which aims to address the lack of affordable housing in the borough by creating “more than 700 new homes over an initial 10-year period”.

Scarborough Council said that while the amount of notice given regarding the £744,000 is “very challenging”, the funding is nevertheless welcome.

It said: “Homes shall both help mitigate some of the pressure on sponsors, refugees and the council, and shall provide a lasting legacy within the social housing stock.”

The funds provided by the Government will be ”pass-ported to a registered provider” in the form of a grant payment.

The provider will be responsible for identifying and securing the homes and has to seek agreement from the council in advance of acquisition.

Once acquired, the properties will be refurbished as needed to meet decent homes standards and let at an affordable rent.

The authority has said that average grant levels are likely to be in the region of £93,000 per property while the total value of the match funding needed is around £1.16m.

The report states: “Funding is paid in tranches and homes should be acquired and ready by November 2023.

“Homes can only be allocated for their intended purpose, however, shall provide a legacy within the total social housing stock once refugees return home.”