11:20 AM, 21st March 2022, About 2 months ago 25
This has been a very widely commented on topic with Mick Roberts’s article, Can I really house the Ukrainian People? I want to, however….., so the latest government FAQs have been included below: Click here
Anyone registering online on Homes for Ukraine will be kept updated. Our guidance will include information on the checks we 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.
Named individuals can offer residential rooms or unoccupied self-contained residential units to a specific person or people.
Charities, non-government organisations and religious groups may be able to help you to make contact with a named Ukrainian person. In the future we will work to help organisations themselves sponsor individuals, but we are starting the first phase of the scheme with named individual contacts.
Will I be able to state any preferences?
In Phase One of the scheme it will be for you as a sponsor to apply with a specific named person or a named family member. You should consider what sort of support you are best able to provide and who you are most comfortable to support. For example, you should consider whether your accommodation is suitable for someone with a young child, the elderly or someone with a disability. Everyone who applies to this scheme will be subject to a range of checks, including those in the sponsoring household and those coming to the UK.
Will I be paid rent?
No. You should not charge any rent. We appreciate people’s generosity and do know that there will be costs associated with helping out, and so we 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?
There is a short form on Homes for Ukraine. You will be kept updated after recording your 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.
If you don’t currently know anyone whom you wish to sponsor, you may wish to get in touch with charities, faith groups or local community organisations who are starting to make connections between individuals.
I’m part of an organisation what role can I play?
You can in the first instance record your interest.
Charities, businesses and faith and community groups will have a big role to play in connecting individuals with those who wish to sponsor and wish to be sponsored and of course providing an excellent welcome to individuals arriving to the UK.
In future we will work to help organisations to allow them to directly sponsor individuals, but we are starting with named individual contacts.
I don’t know the person I’m sponsoring – we met on Facebook – should I give them my passport details?
Whether to share your personal information is always your decision. But if you have concerns about sharing personal details, you may prefer to fill out the visa application form on behalf of the individuals you are sponsoring. To do this, you will need to ask them for their information.
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.
What do I do if I want to sponsor but don’t know someone?
There are several ways you can help support and sponsor a Ukrainian household if you do not already know anyone in need. A number of charities and non-government organisations are working to offer services to match potential sponsors and Ukrainian households seeking to come to the UK.
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 about my mortgage / household insurance?
In some cases, you’ll need to check with your landlord, freeholder or mortgage provider, and insurance company, about whether they’ve got any policies which you need to factor in. It’s important you think through any possible implications for your tenancy, mortgage, lease and insurance before your guest arrives in the UK.
Insurers have agreed that for homeowners accommodating Ukrainian Nationals in their home there is no need to contact your insurer on the basis that they are accommodated as non-paying guests. Please refer to the Association of British Insurers’ statement for more details. In other situations, including where the sponsor is a landlord or a tenant, you will need to contact your insurer.
Lenders have committed to enable as many borrowers as possible to participate in the scheme. If you have a mortgage on the property you will need to contact your mortgage lender. We are working with the mortgage lender sector to standardise and simplify this process as far as possible.
If you are considering applying to be a sponsor you should refer to your mortgage lender’s and insurer’s websites where further advice will be available as soon as possible.
Do I need to tell my landlord if I’m renting?
If you rent, you should seek the permission of your landlord.
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.
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 different accommodation.
People who arrive in the UK through this scheme will be able to access all benefits, including housing benefit where there are housing costs, for the three years they have leave to remain.
What if I live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?
Sponsors can apply for the scheme from any part of the UK. In addition, the Scottish Government is directly sponsoring a number of Ukrainians themselves. Individuals will be able to apply through the usual form, but should choose the Scottish Government as their sponsor. The Welsh Government will also serve as a direct sponsor in the coming days.
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