Continued support for Ukrainian refugees in Warwickshire
It is one year since the Homes for Ukraine scheme was established and since March 2022, 1,072 Ukrainians have started new chapters of their lives in Warwickshire via the scheme.
In this time the county’s Homes for Ukraine support team and a range of public sector organisations, voluntary, community and faith groups have worked together with local communities to welcome people fleeing Ukraine and helping them to settle.
Nationally, more than 150,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme since the beginning of the conflict and as the war continues more Ukrainians need a place of safety. Hosts on the scheme initially signed up for six months, and whilst many hosting relationships will continue for a year and beyond, the Warwickshire team is seeking more hosts to join for different types of placements.
People interested in joining the scheme as hosts will help those coming to the UK as well as those already in Warwickshire who need to move on from their initial sponsorship arrangement. Ukrainians already settled in Warwickshire have had time to become established within their local communities. They may be at work, with their children in school, minimising some of the challenges many new hosts on the scheme initially face.
Anyone can consider hosting as long as they have a spare room. Those who are successfully matched to Ukrainian guests are offered a £350 per month ‘thank you’ payment. Recently, Warwickshire County council has agreed to offer an additional payment of £150 per month to all hosts who commit to their guests staying beyond six months. The payment is tax-free and is made for single long staying guest or multiple groups.
Warwickshire County Council has expanded its help to Ukrainian guests by approving a new guarantee scheme to enable access to private tenancies. Guests wishing to rent private accommodation who meet a set of criteria will have the local authority acting as a guarantor. This will include guests having saved enough money to pay the deposit and first month’s rent and undertaking a financial assessment.
People arriving via Homes for Ukraine scheme are able to live and work in the UK for up to three years, and have access to healthcare, education, public funds, employment and other support. Almost a year since the scheme launched, there are still 360 hosts providing a home to their Ukrainian guests across Warwickshire. Throughout the county over 89 Ukrainian families have successfully moved to independent living.