Honourable and personal residential letting experts

8Mar

Homes for Ukraine – new government guidance

In this blog about the Homes for Ukraine scheme we shall cover:

  • How the legislation has changed around helping Ukrainian refugees
  • How you could get involved

Last month the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities issued new guidance on the situation for those of you that have offered a home to Ukraine refugees.

In short, any change, extension over six months or to end the situation, needs to be updated with the council, particularly if you had originally organised this with them, as it is they who organise the thank you payments .

If you choose to continue support, thank you payments will continue for another six months.

However, if you want to bring the situation to an end, again you need to discuss this with the council so that they can offer help.

If your guest has moved on you can offer to find a new guest (they have called this rematching!)

Since everyone cannot continue to offer accommodation after six months, or guests might want to find their own accommodation., hosts are encouraged to work with the guests to develop a suitable plan.

Finding a new host (rematching)

If your guests are not ready to leave sponsorship and move into their own alternative accommodation, but you can no longer accommodate them, they may want to find a new host.

You could help your guests to find a new host, for example through:

– someone that you already know

– a recognised provider

– local faith groups

– community groups

– charities

– other organisations

 

The local council may also be able to help them find a new host.

 

Once your guests have found a new host, it is very important that they contact the local council so they can make the necessary checks, and to approve the arrangement. This should happen before they move in with a new host.

If they want to move to another area of the UK, they must tell the local council before moving. The current council will then contact the council in the new area they want to move to, so they can make any necessary checks and can confirm the new living arrangements are suitable. If they do not do this, the guest could be at risk and the new host will not be entitled to the ‘thank you’ payment.

If your current guests move out, you can host another guest and receive the monthly thank you payment.

You can find out more information if you sponsor a child living in the UK without a parent or legal guardian, as there is a separate process for rematching children.

 

Rent a Room Scheme

If you no longer want to host guests, you could consider renting a room in your home under the Rent a Room Scheme. This is an accommodation option to support guests. The Rent a Room Scheme lets people earn up to a maximum of £7,500 per year, tax-free, from letting out furnished accommodation in their home.

Renting private accommodation

A guide has been published to help guests understand how to rent in England. This will help guests when they are ready and able to move out of sponsorship into independent accommodation. This guide is now available [online] in Ukrainian and Russian.

It will make it easier for the council to offer support if your guest is moving on or to continue make payments to you if you continue to host. You should continue to keep the council informed, especially if anything changes after this point.

 

Continuing sponsorship

You might want to continue sponsoring for longer than six months. We ask everyone who is hosting guests, particularly those coming up to their fourth month of sponsoring, to continue hosting their guests for as long as they can.

Thank you payments to hosts are available for the first 12 months of sponsoring. If you continue to host, you are eligible to receive thank you payments, for the months that you host.

If you arrange to host a guest without the agreement of the local council then you won’t be able to claim the thank you payment, because this is outside of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.