Landlords and Homeowners are seeking ways to help regarding the devastating military conflict that is taking place in Ukraine. At the time of writing over 5 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine with most trying to find refuge in European countries. As a response to this, the British government has set up the ‘Homes of Ukraine’ scheme. The aims of this policy are to help Ukrainian refugees safely and quickly find a place to stay in the UK. So here we will go over the details of how landlords and homeowners can help provide accommodation under the homes for Ukraine policy and how the scheme will operate.
The ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme will work on the basis that people in the UK will be the sponsors of residents of Ukraine fleeing the country. Anybody with the right to remain in the UK for more than six months can become a sponsor. The scheme is also open to Ukrainian nationals who have close families in the UK. There will be no cap on the homes for Ukraine scheme meaning the number of Ukrainian refugees able to be sponsored and allowed to take refuge in the UK will not be limited. All people who become sponsors are entitled to an optional £350 ‘thank you’ payment per month from the government for a maximum of 12 months.
To be eligible as a sponsor in the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme there are a couple of criteria you have to meet. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, you must be entitled to reside in the UK for more than 6 months. Secondly, the accommodation you will be providing must either be an entire spare room or and self-contained residential accommodation that is unoccupied. You will also need to ensure that the accommodation provided is free from any serious health and safety hazard. Finally, if you already know the Ukrainian nationals that you want to sponsor you can apply for their visa under the homes for Ukraine scheme online. If the Ukrainian national doesn’t know a sponsor in the UK they will be paired with an individual or organisation that has registered their interest to house refugees on the government’s website.
An important part of the homes for Ukraine scheme is helping Ukrainian nationals reach their sponsors and provided accommodation independently. There are multiple ways in which this is being facilitated such as;
It is also advised to try and help the people you have sponsored get familiar with their new homes. This can include showing them where the local shops and amenities are or helping them sign up for the local GP. Every guest will also receive a £200 subsistence payment from the local council in the area they now reside. Additionally, all Ukrainian nationals settled through the scheme will have the right to work and claim benefits in the UK for the duration of the program.
If you are a landlord or homeowner with a spare room or unoccupied accommodation that you would be willing to provide to a Ukrainian fleeing the war in Ukraine please register your interest on the government’s website or get in touch with us.