Patrick Christys: Should charity start at home?

'It’s emerged that councils will get special grants to rent or buy large homes to house Afghan refugees'

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Should charity start at home?

It’s emerged that councils will get special grants to rent or buy large homes to house Afghan refugees.

More than 100 councils across the country have agreed to house Afghans - the average size of a family is seven, the largest is 12.

And we’re jumping through hoops to house them, we’re also jumping through hoops to give accommodation to people coming over the channel.

20,000 Afghans, divide that by 7, that’s almost 3,000 homes.

This is a really interesting question we as a nation have to confront – should there be more charity at home?

What about the homeless people we already have here. 280,000 of them. Apparently there are 127,000 homeless children. Every day my inbox is filled with people telling me horror stories of people who were born and raised here, paid their share of tax, and can’t get a house.

How do locals feel?

Would you rather housing in your local area was given to a young single mum who has paid tax all her life but fell on hard times during the pandemic or an Afghan refugee?

Plenty of you will say there is more of a pressing need to house Afghans fleeing the Taliban, and that’s fair enough, other people take a different view.

We currently have laws that criminalise homeless people – vagrancy is a crime. Well, last time I checked, we had laws against entering a country illegally but apparently they don’t exist anymore.

If you’re on a housing waiting list, why not get in a dinghy in the Channel and land on a Kent beach and you’ll be in a four star hotel before you can say ‘is there a minibar’?

There’s a perception that the people making these decisions aren’t the ones who feel the full force of them.

Class sizes in schools are at record levels, NHS waiting times are sky high…Do the ultra-woke, Chihuahua carrying, Chablis swilling chatterati in Hampstead send their children to a school where English is taught as a foreign language? Do they live on an estate where people arrive – we don’t know who they are?

No, they don’t.

Nurses going to food banks, hungry children...should we be more inward looking? Should we sort our own house out?