Homes for Ukraine - Operational Costs
Decision Maker: Corporate Director - Community Wellbeing
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
• The Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship
Scheme was launched on the 14th March 2022.
• The scheme enables people living in the UK to offer accommodation in their own homes or property they own to individuals and families displaced from the Ukraine due to the war with Russia.
• Sponsors are expected to provide guests with accommodation for up to 12 months, but a minimum of six months. Thank you payments to sponsors are scheduled to end after 12 months.
• It is anticipated that sponsors will support and help guests to adapt to life in the UK.
• The number of people who can access this scheme is uncapped and is dependent on the capacity of the sponsors who come forward. Those arriving need to meet standard security checks prior to being issued with a visa.
• Councils have a number of important functions in supporting the Homes for Ukraine scheme including initial checks with sponsors, payments to sponsors and ongoing support. An operational team has been established in order to ensure that these tasks are completed.
• To date 509 guests have already arrived through the scheme to over 188 sponsors. Initial indications are that approximately 37% (188) of guests are children and young people aged under 18 years old.
• Government data indicates that Herefordshire can expect at least another 171 guests.
• The council’s school admissions team has placed over 130 Ukrainian children in schools across Herefordshire.
• Safeguarding checks for sponsors and their families are an essential element of the Homes for Ukraine process, but little is known about the families that are arriving from the Ukraine and what their needs might be. Additional capacity for Safeguarding and Early Help mean that any concerns can be dealt with efficiently and that packages of support can be put in place to support families as they integrate into life in Herefordshire.
• Translation and interpretation are essential to the integration process, enabling people from the Ukraine to access services and support whilst they learn or improve their English language skills. Translation and interpretation services can be used by a wide range of partner agencies and voluntary sector organisations to support the Ukrainian community.
• Securing long term, affordable housing solutions, is a significant challenge for Ukrainian guests currently being hosted by sponsors. The Government guidance is clear that sponsorship arrangements are for a minimum of 6 months and that ‘thank you’ payments to sponsors are available for a maximum of 12 months.
• The Council have encouraged eligible Ukrainian guests living in sponsorship arrangements to register with Home Point, Herefordshire’s choice based letting system.
• As well as advice and support, the Housing Solutions team are implementing a range of measures such as rent top ups, goodwill payments, landlord incentives and rent in advance, all of which need to be resourced.
• The Homes for Ukraine Community Integration Grant Scheme is a significant investment that has been designed to support new and existing projects that benefit Ukrainian guests and their hosts in line with Government guidance. The grant scheme is administered by the Delegated Grant Team. Applicants and projects are being supported by Talk Community.
Contact: Hilary Hall, Corporate Director Community Wellbeing Email: Hilary.Hall@herefordshire.gov.uk.
Publication date: 24/11/2022
Date of decision: 31/10/2022