Homes for Ukraine Government Sponsored Scheme
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to tell Community Housing?
You should seek the permission from Community Housing if you wish to become a sponsor.
When will sponsors and Ukrainians be able to apply for the sponsorship scheme?
Phase One of the scheme opened on 18 March for visa applications from Ukrainian applicants who have named people in the UK willing to sponsor them.
I want to register my interest as a sponsor
People or organisations wanting to be sponsors who do not have a named individual to sponsor can record their interest in being a sponsor. They will then be kept updated as the scheme develops.
Guidance will include information on the checks the government will be undertaking on both sponsors and people seeking to come to the UK, information around the status of the arrangement you will be entering into (including expected accommodation standards) and the role of your local council in providing wider support.
Can I offer my room out?
Anyone in the UK (of any nationality and any immigration status providing they have at least 6 months’ leave to remain in the UK) with a spare room, or separate self-contained accommodation that is unoccupied can come forward to help. Accommodation must be available for at least 6 months, be fit for people to live in, and suitable for the number of people to be accommodated.
What sort of room/accommodation is required?
The most important thing is that you’re able to provide at least 6 months of stable accommodation. This can be anything from an empty room to an unoccupied home, as long as it’s safe, heated and free from health hazards, and gives your guests adequate access to bathroom and kitchen facilities.
What about a sofa bed in my sitting room?
We are asking for sponsors who can at least offer an empty room, to ensure the safety and privacy of guests. A bed in a shared space would not be an appropriate offer of accommodation for 6 months.
Will I be paid rent?
No. You should not charge any rent, the government are offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more household (subject to the accommodation they have).
The ‘thank you’ payment is limited to one payment per residential address. You will continue to receive payments for as long as you sponsor somebody and for up to 12 months. This payment will be made in arrears.
Prior to payment, eligibility checks will be carried out which will include a visit to your home.
Will the person I am supporting be eligible for benefits and/or to work?
All those from Ukraine coming to the country under the scheme will be able to apply for benefits and to seek and take up employment.
What is the entitlement to housing benefit of someone coming to the UK under this scheme?
Nothing about the sponsorship scheme reduces the entitlement to housing benefit. The sponsorship scheme assumes no rent will be paid. Where someone wishes to rent privately, or when the sponsorship ends, the housing benefit element of Universal Credit will be available.
Am I expected to provide meals too or just accommodation?
Just accommodation. However, there is nothing stopping sponsors offering meals should they wish. You will not be expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses (although you may wish to offer this philanthropically).
Will I be expected to provide any other support?
There are other organisations who will be able to offer support on things like access to benefits, registering with a GP, school placements and more. We will also be asking local councils to provide wrap-around support for your guests and are providing new funding for councils to do so.
What security checks need to be done?
Those arriving will have met standard security checks against the police national computer database and antiterrorism checks as part of the visa application process.
Sponsors and all adults in the sponsor household will also be subject to standard security checks as part of the visa process.
Your council will also visit you to check that the accommodation you are offering is appropriate and that everything is in place for your guest(s). They will also conduct a Disclosure and Barring Service check on all adults in your household. This is typically required for people who work closely with children and vulnerable adults – teachers, doctors, social workers, civil servants – and is a simple, standard safety check. You will receive a certificate valid for two years. These checks and the process will be expedited.
For those who are sponsoring a Ukrainian family which includes a child or a vulnerable adult, an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check with Barred Lists check will be conducted.
Where do I record my interest?
If you already have a named contact whom you wish to sponsor you should get in touch with them directly and prepare to fill in a visa application with all of their details and yours. The visa application route opened on 18 March.
What about my council tax discount?
Council tax discounts will not be affected if you sponsor and host a Ukrainian household in your home. We are offering a £350 a month ‘thank you’ payment to all sponsors – this will not affect any council tax discounts.
What happens at the end of the six-month sponsorship period?
Sponsors are committed to hosting guests for a minimum of 6 months, but you may choose to continue beyond the initial six months if you and your guest want to do so.
If you don’t want to continue the arrangement beyond six months, you should let your guest know in plenty of time (for example, one month) so they can make other arrangements.
Ukrainian people on this scheme have access to public funds during their time in the UK, and at the end of their sponsorship will be able to rent a property like anyone else. If they need further support, your local authority can support them in finding alternative accommodation.
What if my circumstances change and I can’t continue sponsoring?
If for any reason you need to end the sponsorship arrangement early, you should inform your local council as soon as possible. Your local council will then step in to help guests to find alternative accommodation.
For information please visit Homes for Ukraine scheme