Thousands of people have signed up to the UK government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. You might be interested in joining them. This is what you should know
Within five hours of launching yesterday, some 44,000 people had registered their interest in the UK government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. The program allows people to take in refugees fleeing conflict.
Can I accept a Ukrainian refugee into my home?
Registering under the government scheme will require that you can offer a spare room or your entire residence for at most six months. However, it is best to be ready to offer the room for longer periods.
Ukrainian nationals and applicants will also be vetted. Each household receiving a refugee will be offered £350 a month, tax-free. Although hosts will not be expected or required to provide food and other living expenses, they may choose to do so.
Space-seekers can register their interest by going to the Homes for Ukraine website. Approved applicants can sponsor a Ukrainian national starting Friday. However, they will first need to know the name and address of the person they wish to help.
The UK government, which has been heavily criticized for its refusal to accept Ukrainian refugees, stated that the scheme would be expanded to allow refugees without any connections to the UK to be hosted. The government did not give a time frame. The government stated that there will not be a limit on the number Ukrainian refugees who can enter the UK.
Are there any other schemes?
Yes. Since 2002, Positive Action In Housing has been helping refugees find homes with spare rooms. Its Room For Refugees program has helped people fleeing conflict zones like Afghanistan, Syria, and even Afghanistan. Now, it will help displaced Ukrainian citizens. Register to become a host via its website.
Another charity that does similar work is Refugees At Home. It has helped to find homes for more than 2,500 refugees in 65 countries since 2015. Over 5,000 volunteers have offered rooms via the site in the last few days. its website.
What about refugees from countries other than your own?
Rooms For Refugees At At Home and Refugees At At Home will continue to assist other nationals regardless of the refugee crisis created by the war in Ukraine. “We will of course continue to host asylum seekers and refugees fleeing other conflicts while we work on this new scheme,” said Refugees At Home.
Can I still help if I don’t have a spare room?
Even if you don’t have accommodation to offer, you can still help house Ukrainian refugees. Volunteers are needed to help Positive Action In Housing approve accommodation providers.
“If there are people who are interested in signing up to help us assess hosts and get them to the stage where they are signed off and ready to host, that is something we would welcome,” Adam Paterson, the charity’s accommodation co-ordinator, told Positive News.
Is it really important where I live?
Technically, yes, Refugees At home said that accommodation in large cities is preferred. “In our experience, refugee guests would prefer to be housed in London and large cities,” it said. “Most do not want to be hosted in the countryside because they crave community, the language they speak, the food they know, English lessons, often some therapeutic help.”
I’m Ukrainian, how do I find accommodation in the UK?
Ukrainian residents and nationals wishing to stay in the UK can fill out this formThrough the Positive Action In Housing website. Its staff will find someone to take you into their home so that you can be allowed to enter under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme is available to Ukrainian nationals, or their immediate family, provided they were living in Ukraine prior to January 2022.
You can find more resources for Ukrainian refugees here.
Can I access UK services?
The government scheme will provide refugees with access to the National Health Service as well as other public services. Local schools will also be available for children.
Main image: A mother fleeing Ukraine along with her child. Credit: Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty