AFGHAN families could begin moving into MoD homes in Rosyth in March.

A number of properties in Rosyth are set to be used to house families currently being accommodated in a bridging hotel in Fife after fleeing Afghanistan.

Members of Fife Council's cabinet committee will tomorrow (Thursday) be asked to agree to work with the Home Office and the MoD to lease a total of 28 properties in West Fife and Leuchars.

In a report to councillors, John Mills, head of housing services, said they had participated previously in UK Government resettlement schemes which had been "cost neutral" to the council.

"Up to 100 Afghans at any time have been housed in a bridging hotel in Fife and that close working with the Home Office and the Fife Resettlement Co-ordination Group has resulted in good levels of support," he explained. "There are currently 51 arrivals from Afghanistan in the hotel.

"Discussions with the MoD and Home Office have been ongoing for some months to arrange for move-on accommodation for families to move from the hotel into family accommodation in Fife or elsewhere in the UK.

"Despite commitment from the council and the MoD to lease 10 properties in Leuchars and Rosyth, progress with discussions has been slow and managed in accordance with other priorities emerging through different resettlement areas of activity."

A meeting with the council, the Home Office and the MoD took place in December when it was agreed that a further 18 properties would be provided to house families from hotels and new arrivals from Afghanistan.

The 28 properties are now set to be leased to the council for three to five years with families moving in on a phased basis from March.

"Occupancy would be arranged on a similar basis to previous established resettlement schemes which have operated successfully in the past," said Mr Mills.

"Fife has a strong track record of positively assisting vulnerable and displaced people and will continue to co-ordinate a comprehensive offer to vulnerable people.

"The Fife Resettlement Core Group will continue to support the Afghan families as they move onto the temporary accommodation at Leuchars and Rosyth."

Mr Mills said the plans for the homes would not impact efforts to reduce homelessness elsewhere in the Kingdom.

"The pressures on the housing sector are well documented," he acknowledged. "Taking account of this, the specific proposal outlined in this report is mainly externally-funded and supported and will enable vulnerable people already in Fife and coming to Fife over the short-term to be in improved housing accommodation without taking up active council housing stock."

In February last year, Mr Mills had slammed the national scheme to resettle Afghans as “glacially-slow” after it emerged families who had fled the war-torn country remained stuck in a local hotel.

As reported by the Press, he said the initiative was "not moving at the pace Fife would really like it to".

At the time, he added: "Although we’ve made housing provision available to the Home Office to allocate properties, it still hasn’t resulted in any allocation to these families."