Homes For Ukraine
The government has announced Homes For Ukraine, a community sponsorship scheme where people can offer to house Ukrainian refugees.
If you are considering registering with the scheme to host Ukrainian refugees, we’ve listed some key things you need to consider first:
1. Have you checked with your Landlord or Mortgage Provider to ensure you can offer a space?
2. Have you checked with your Home Insurance Provider?
3. Have you got a spare bedroom that is private to allow people space to grieve and recover? A sofa bed in a living room is not ideal for a person recovering from trauma.
4. Are you happy to give a copy of your house key to your guest? Will you be comfortable allowing people access to your home if you go on holiday?
5. The minimum commitment is 6 months, but if the person hasn’t found anywhere else to go in that time, would you be able to let them stay? Will you feel comfortable asking your guest to leave? At present it is still unclear whether the person will be eligible for housing benefit after 6 months.
1. Will this impact on your council tax, rent?
2. Will you be able to provide food and other basics whilst arrivals wait for their benefits claim to be processed? Though latest government guidance indicates that there will be around £200 payment on arrival. In reality it could be a while until the benefit payments kick in.
3. Can you afford to pay for their flights to the UK? At present we do not know if sponsors will have to support Ukrainians to get to the UK and to pick them up from the airport.
4. Have you thought that your household bills might potentially increase a (electricity, water, gas)?
1. Do you already have links to your Reading City of Sanctuary/Reading Refugee Support Group? If not, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Do you have the time to support people to register to GPs, dentists, etc.? It is still unclear whose responsibility it will be to do this.
3. You may host someone who cannot speak English. Can you help someone navigate a new place and new systems without interpretation or translation support?
4. We understand that local authorities will be responsible for undertaking accommodation and welfare checks. Are you comfortable with Council Officers visiting your home?
5. Will you feel comfortable living with people who have a very different parenting style or culture?
6. Are you happy living with someone who may not have had any covid vaccinations? We understand the guidance on this is still unclear, please do check back on this.
7. It may take time for the person to find employment or feel comfortable socialising, are you happy for someone to be in your space?
1. Have you spoken to your family or children about how they feel about hosting a new person in your home?
2. Have you met or supported someone who has PTSD or other mental health problems for example? People suffering from trauma can become depressed, hopeless or angry. This situation can be difficult and the person may need specialized treatment or support. Sponsors will be provided with no medical history about a guest.
If you don’t think you will be able to offer the levels of support, friendship, patience and privacy that are needed, do not worry – hosting is not for everyone and there are other ways to support.