Ukrainian refugees move into flats following £5m refurbishment


PEOPLE who have fled the conflict in Ukraine have started moving into refurbished flats in Wishaw and Coatbridge.

The project, backed by £5 million in Scottish Government funding, enabled North Lanarkshire Council to refurbish void properties in the two areas to bring them back into use.

It forms part of the Ukraine Longer Term Resettlement Fund, which involves up to £50 million being made available to refurbish properties that otherwise would not be available for let.

The Scottish Government said the homes provided will be good quality affordable homes and will be available for rent for up to three years, in line with visa length, after which some will continue to be available as social rented homes.

Minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray, said, “We want to help displaced people from Ukraine move to longer-term accommodation so they have their own space and settle in a community. I’m pleased that people are already living in some of the flats and that more will be moving in soon. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet a family who recently moved in to a flat here. They told me about their experience of getting to Scotland and how they are now rebuilding their lives in their new home.

“It’s been great to see all the hard work North Lanarkshire Council have undertaken to bring these flats back into use to provide comfortable and secure homes for displaced people from Ukraine. I’m grateful for all the hard work the team have put in to make this happen. This is a great example of how a local authority can help the resettlement of people who have had to flee war.”

Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, councillor Jim Logue, added, “Communities across North Lanarkshire have welcomed people from Ukraine with the warmth and kindness expected and our resettlement team has been working hard to provide a range of services and support to help them settle in. We have carried out extensive refurbishment work to temporarily reinstate two of our residential tower blocks in Wishaw and Coatbridge to provide accommodation for Ukrainians and it is heartening to see the first families and individuals set up home, with children at local schools, some people working and others involved in the local community.

“With so many people fleeing a country and facing an uncertain future, it is a great credit that council services have responded so quickly to assist them and will continue to work and support families as they integrate with communities.”