At the time of writing, more than 4.2 million people have fled from Ukraine after Putin invaded their home country and war erupted with Russia. While many people have sought shelter in neighbouring countries, including Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova, 17,000 refugees are now being considered for entry to the UK.
After backlash against Visa requirements, reports state that the government is also setting up a scheme to allow people in Britain to house Ukrainian refugees with no family ties to the country. The people welcomed will then be eligible to work, receive state benefits and public services.
How can I take in a Ukrainian refugee?
If you apply to house a Ukrainian refugee, you’ll be vetted before your application is approved and will then have to agree to house the person (or people) you’re helping for a specific period of time.
More details of the sponsorship scheme have been announced, with news that those who host Ukrainian refugees as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme will receive £350 a month from the government.
Initially, the scheme will allow people in the UK to sponsor named individuals or families to stay in their homes, with the scheme then being opened up to businesses, organisations and faith groups who can sponsor larger groups.
How do I register to apply for the Homes for Ukraine scheme?
You can register an expression of interest in the scheme on the government website, along with your email address. You will then be updated on the scheme as it progresses. This can be done on behalf of charities, community groups or businesses.
The government isn't matching UK families with refugees, you need to identify the person you want to house yourself. Few people personally know a person to help, so charities including Room For Refugees and Refugees At Home are offering matching services.
How long will I be expected to host a refugee for?
The minimum commitment to the scheme is six months, so you' need to be prepared to host an individual or family for at least that long before applying.
You can sign up with Shelter For Ukraine to offer to host refugees in your spare room here. To take part, just click ‘provide shelter’ on their website and fill in the form you’re directed to.
To provide additional accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, you can also support AirBnB’s campaign by donating money here and offer your own Airbnb as a safe place to stay by registering for their scheme here.
Alternatively, if you want to give practical supplies to refugees you can read our article to find Ukraine donation collection points near you, or explore other ways you can help Ukrainian refugees and those still in their home country.