Home for Ukraine program for Ukrainian refugees in the UK

People in the UK can offer to sponsor and house people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine who have obtained a visa through a new government scheme.

What is the scheme?

The “homes for Ukraine” programme allows individuals, charities, community groups and businesses across the UK to offer a room or home rent-free to Ukrainians escaping the war, regardless of whether they have ties to the country.

The as a “national effort” on behalf of those in desperate need.

How do you apply?

The UK government to launch the website https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk.

How many hosts are likely to get involved?

It is suggested that almost one in three Britons might be willing to invite a Ukrainian refugee to live with them: 9% said they would definitely do so, while 20% said they might.

A previous community sponsorship scheme, largely aimed at welcoming Syrians, has proven relatively slow and bureaucratic with only about 700 individuals receiving such support since 2015.

How long can refugees stay?

Members of the public can nominate a Ukrainian individual or family to stay with them for at least six months. Sponsored Ukrainians will be granted three years’ leave to remain in the UK, and will be able to work, claim benefits and access public services during this period.

Will security checks will be carried out?

This has yet to be disclosed, but steps will be taken to ensure hosts and refugees are prevented from “abusing” the new scheme. Security checks would establish whether people “are who they say they are” and prevent the scheme “being exploited possibly by criminal elements”, noting that this “would only ever be a tiny minority”.

The Home Office will also check that the people offering up their homes are in a position to provide that support.

A spokesperson for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said the charity did not want to see unnecessary barriers in the process, but added that “it is vital child protection is built into every stage of the government’s and local authorities’ response to this crisis”. The NSPCC urged the government to work with the foster communities, charities and other partners “to ensure the sponsorship scheme is safe”.

Is there any compensation for hosts?

People offering accommodation to Ukrainian refugees will receive a payment of £350 a month, though this does not increase for additional people. Local authority areas will be entitled to more than £10,000 per Ukrainian refugee using this route to the UK. Also, additional payments will be available to support school-age children who need to be accommodated within the education system.

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