Homes For Ukraine UK: What is the government scheme and how can people in Portsmouth help a Ukrainian refugee?

THE government has announced a new programme to help those fleeing conflict in Ukraine.

Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 2:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 2:48 pm

The Homes for Ukraine scheme has now launched in the UK and will allow charities, community groups, businesses and individuals to help those who are escaping the war in Ukraine.

Before the programme launched this week, only those with UK-based family members could enter the UK.

Now that the scheme is live, Ukrainians without ties to the UK can seek refuge.

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A woman carries her child as they flee Irpin, Ukraine.

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Here is everything you need to know about the Homes for Ukraine scheme:

What is the Homes for Ukraine scheme?

Michael Gove, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary, proposed a programme where a charity, individual, business or community group will be able to nominate a named Ukrainian person or family to stay in their home.

The aim of the scheme is to help thousands of Ukrainians fleeing war to live safely and rent-free regardless of their family connections to the UK.

Who can apply to help a refugee?

Anyone who has a home or a room available can offer accommodation to a Ukrainian family or person but those who apply to help will be vetted and Ukrainian applicants will undergo security checks.

The accommodation needs to be suitable for the Ukrainian refugees and must available for six months, but sponsors are encouraged to keep the offer for as long as they can.

Sponsors will not be expected to cover the cost of food and living expenses, although they can offer this if they wish.

How much do people get for sponsoring a family?

Sponsors offering accommodation to Ukrainian refugees through the new scheme will receive a 'thank you' payment of £350 per month.

Local authorities will also receive £10,500 in extra funding per refugee for support services – with more for children of school age, according to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

How long can Ukrainian refugees stay in the UK?

Sponsors must accommodate the nominated family or individual for at least six months.

Ukrainians who are sponsored will be granted three years’ leave in total to remain in the UK, with entitlement to work and access to public services.

Michael Gove, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary, said the UK ‘stands behind Ukraine in their darkest hour’, and urged people to ‘join the national effort’ to help refugees.

How to apply

If you have a named person you would like to sponsor, you will need to fill out all their details and yours on the visa application.

If you don’t know anyone who needs sponsoring, you may wish to get in touch with charities, faith groups or local community organisations that are starting to make connections between individuals.

The visa application will go live on Friday 18 March on the Homes for Ukraine website.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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