HALF a dozen properties in Bordon have been snapped up by the district council to house Ukrainian and Afghan refugees in a deal worth nearly £4 million.
Finance chiefs at East Hampshire District Council have approved the purchase of eight houses in Bordon and Petersfield for a total of £3.7m.
The decision – which was confirmed by officers on October 11 under delegated powers – has been several months in the making.
Some £1.8m will come from developer contributions, while the remaining £1.9m is a ring-fenced grant from the Department for Levelling Up for refugee housing.
The council was allocated the latter sum early this year after agreeing to house refugee families in the district in return for a capital grant.
The allocation is to provide 12 properties for Ukrainians and an additional house, containing at least four bedrooms, for an Afghan family.
The eight properties were snapped-up during the summer with EHDC saving a combined £106,000 on the total asking price.
The cheapest is a two-bedroom £321,000 home in Otter Walk, Petersfield while a four-bedroom home on Jane Austen Close in Bordon is by far the most expensive at £573,000.
They were all constructed during the last decade, except for one on Juniper Close, Bordon, and are expected to generate £60,000 a year for the council.
The houses are being managed by Ewemove but will remain EHDC-owned when they are unable to find Ukrainian or Afghan refugee families.
“I think it’s great because it’s like having your cake and eating it,” said Cllr Andy Tree.
“The government has given us this money to buy homes and we’ll use these homes to house people on the waiting list long after there’s no Ukrainians, Afghans or other refugees to have them.”
Some refugees have already moved into their new properties with councillors hearing that a Ukrainian woman wept with emotion when she got the keys to her council-owned home in Bordon.
The downside is that the purchase means the developer contribution budget has been “significantly depleted” and there is “unlikely to be funds for another capital project for the foreseeable future”.