Homes for Ukraine – what you need to know?

PUBLISHED: 6th Apr 2022

More than 150,000 people signed up in the first few days to offer accommodation to those fleeing the war torn country as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The scheme allows people, charities, faith groups and organisations in the UK to provide a route to safety for Ukrainians, even though they may have no ties or relatives currently living in the UK.

If you already know a Ukrainian National (or immediate family member), you can help them apply for a visa under the Ukrainian sponsorship scheme. If they do not have a sponsor, they will be matched with people or organisations who have recorded their interest through the service on the Government website.

The Government has said that there will be no limit on how many people can use the scheme and has launched guidance for UK sponsors – accommodation can be offered for at least six months and can be anything from an empty room to an unoccupied home.

The guidelines areUkraine as follows:-

  • You will need to either provide a spare room in your home or self-contained accommodation for at least 6 months.
  • The family or person will need private space so a sofa bed is not deemed as appropriate
  • Two people should not be in one room unless they are: adult, a parent and child, co-habiting, two siblings of the same gender if aged over 10, two siblings regardless of gender if aged under 10. People who previously did not know each other should not be given the same room
  • The space will need to be safe and fit for a number of people to live in and all guests should have access to kitchen and bathroom space plus running water
  • There needs to be a carbon-monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance, have a working fire alarm and a safe gas supply.
  • The property should have sufficient heating to keep the property at a comfortable temperature

Phase one of the scheme opened on March 18th for visa applications from Ukrainian applicants who have named people in the UK willing to sponsor them – one application is required.

Once you have recorded your interest then the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will contact you about your interest.

Checks will be made as part of the visa process, your local authority will be asked to check the accommodation and living arrangements – they will then decide what DBS checks are needed, for which you will not have to pay.

It is unlikely that your guest will be familiar with the layout of your local area or how to get around easily. Some practical advice on things like getting to and from your home, where local shops are and where to catch buses and trains. As a sponsor you are not expected to provide transport for your guests throughout their stay.

It would be helpful to direct your guests to public services, for example, this could involve helping to contact and register with a Local GP and NHS dentist.

Think about how your day to day will work, can they help themselves to food, will you eat dinner together – this is not something that you would be expected to provide although there is nothing stopping you if you wish? What about changing sheets, duvets and washing clothes – how will you ensure they get enough privacy?

You cannot charge for a room but you will receive what is classed as a ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month.

This payment is limited to one payment per residential address which will be made in arrears.

Thank you payments will not affect benefit entitlements and will remain tax free, the £350 will also not affect any council tax discounts.

The Government recommends you check with your landlord, freeholder or mortgage provider about whether they have any policies which you need to factor in such as pets.

The government has said that insurers have agreed that for homeowners accommodating Ukrainian Nationals in their home there is no need to contact your insurer on the basis that they are accommodated as non-paying

If your guest moves out of your home for any reason, you need to inform your local council as soon as possible to let them know that you are no longer eligible for monthly payments.

At the end of the six months guest hosting, you may continue to host beyond the six months, but if you don’t wish to continue, you should let your guest know in plenty of time so that they can make other arrangements – 2 months’ notice is deemed acceptable.

Guests will have access to public funds and, after leaving your home, will be entitled to rent a property like anyone else.

If you require further information, all details are available on the Government website.

Information provided by David Phillip Estate Agents, 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds t: 01134 676 400 w: davidphillip.co.uk 

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