Latest information and guidance from the Government: Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions - GOV.UK
UK efforts to support Ukrainian evacuees are currently via two national programmes:
- Homes for Ukraine Scheme
- Family Visa Scheme
The Homes for Ukraine Scheme
This is a Community Sponsorship scheme. In order to complete a Visa application process, subject to satisfactory safeguarding and property checks, it requires:
- a named UK sponsor
- a named Ukrainian guest
- Accommodation needs to be available for at least 6 months.
- People should not be charged rent.
There may be an opportunity for organisations to become sponsors at a later stage.
Successful sponsorship arrangements are dependent on:
- Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
- Satisfactory property checks
- Satisfactory welfare checks
DBS checks will be required for all adults in sponsor households as well as members of Ukrainian households (enhanced checks where there are children or vulnerable adults), to be carried out by Leicestershire County Council.
Housing and welfare checks
Whilst every effort will be made to carry out property checks before Ukrainian guests arrive to a property, this may not always be possible.
You may be the first officer that the sponsor or lead resident in the property have been able to talk to about the scheme and therefore they may have lots of questions. See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below. If a customer raises a query or concern that you feel unable to deal with, contact your senior officer for advice and guidance.
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 guests adequate access to bathroom and kitchen facilities.
Sponsors should already have considered how many people they can accommodate so they have sufficient space.
Two people should not be in one room unless they are:
- adult cohabiting partners
- a parent and child
- two siblings of the same gender if aged over 10
- two siblings regardless of gender if aged under 10
Individuals who didn’t previously know each other should not be given the same room.
On receipt of a property check referral, officers should make contact with the sponsor household to arrange a visit and send a letter of confirmation (via post or email).
Property checks will require experience and technical housing knowledge; however, it is not a full HHSRS assessment, and a pragmatic approach should be taken.
The accommodation should:
- be kept clean and in a reasonable state
- have adequate kitchen and bathroom space
- have access to drinking water
- have a working smoke detector on each floor of the property and other fire safety precautions suitable for the building e.g. fire doors or escape routes as appropriate (further information on making a home safe from fire
- have a working carbon monoxide detector in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove)
- have sufficient heating to keep the property at a comfortable temperature
- have safe gas appliances, fittings and flues and have undertaken a Gas Safety check within the last year (see more information)
- have safe and working electrics, which a qualified electrician can help with if you are unsure
- be almost entirely free of damp or mould
- have doors and windows at entry level that lock properly
- be easy and safe to move around in, without excessively steep staircases that may cause harm
The outcome and assessment of property suitability – whether suitable or not suitable – must be provided to the County Council for each sponsorship arrangement.
If you do not consider the property suitable, you should speak to the senior named officer in the Council area that the property check is in for advice.
Officers should use their professional curiosity to be alert to any serious safeguarding issues. Safeguarding concerns should be noted as part of the assessment form and advice taken from your named senior lead officer.
Immediate safeguarding risks should be escalated immediately via normal safeguarding reporting arrangements and the senior named officer in the council area of the property you have inspected should be notified.
Homes for Ukraine - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What happens after 6 months?
Government is still working on these details.
What happens if the property is unsuitable?
The latest advice is that an unsuitable property wouldn’t necessarily halt a visa application. Any minor issues should be addressed through advice and assistance. If there are serious safety concerns these will be dealt with through arrangements set up between the district and county councils, and households advised accordingly to any impact on the visa application.
What happens if the sponsorship arrangement breaks down?
Councils with housing responsibility will have an homeless duty to the guest household.
How long will Ukrainian households be able to stay in the UK?
Visas are for three years.
How will Ukrainian households get to the UK?
Households are arriving to key destinations including East Midlands Airport, where there are initial welcome arrangements.
Sponsor households are asked to support their guests to reach their destination. If unable to do so, they should provide them with instructions.
Ukrainian guests will be eligible for a single onward journey via national rail, light rail, bus and coach, free of charge to the sponsor house / destination anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales. They will only need to show their Ukrainian passport and boarding pass or ticket showing arrival into the country within the last 48 hours.
For more information see the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Travel Scheme
What should I advise if Ukrainian guests are worried about household members still in Ukraine?
A dedicated helpline has been established by the Home Office to support British Nationals and their dependants in Ukraine. The number for the hotline is 0300 3032785 and the service is open from 8am until 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am until 5.30pm on weekends.
Where can I access translation support?
To be determined.
Can the sponsor household charge rent?
No. However, sponsors may receive an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month per household. The ‘thank you’ payment is limited to one payment per residential address. Monthly payments will continue for up to 12 months, subject to continued sponsorship. This payment will be made in arrears.
The UK government is ensuring ‘thank you payments’ do not affect benefit entitlement and will remain tax-free.