OVER 1,000 Ukrainians have started new lives in Warwickshire since the Homes for Ukraine scheme started a year ago.
And now Warwickshire County Council is appealing for even more hosts to come forward.
The Homes for Ukraine support team has worked with local communities to welcome people fleeing Ukraine and helping them to settle since March 2022.
And as a result, 1,072 Ukrainians have made new homes in the county.
Nationally, more than 150,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme since the beginning of the conflict and as the war continues more Ukrainians need a place of safety. Hosts on the scheme initially signed up for six months, and while many hosting relationships will continue for a year and beyond, the Warwickshire team is seeking more hosts to join for different types of placements.
People interested in joining the scheme as hosts will help those coming to the UK as well as those already in Warwickshire who need to move on from their initial sponsorship arrangement. Ukrainians already settled in the county have had time to become established within their local communities. They may be at work, with their children in school, minimising some of the challenges many new hosts on the scheme initially face.
Anyone can consider hosting as long as they have a spare room. Those who are successfully matched to Ukrainian guests are offered a £350 per month ‘thank you’ payment.
Recently, WCC has agreed to offer an additional payment of £150 per month to all hosts who commit to their guests staying beyond six months.
WCC has also expanded its help to Ukrainian guests by approving a new guarantee scheme to enable access to private tenancies. Guests wishing to rent private accommodation who meet a set of criteria will have the local authority acting as a guarantor. This will include guests having saved enough money to pay the deposit and first month’s rent and undertaking a financial assessment.
People arriving via the Homes for Ukraine scheme are able to live and work in the UK for up to three years, and have access to healthcare, education, public funds, employment and other support. Almost a year since the scheme launched, there are still 360 hosts providing a home to their Ukrainian guests across Warwickshire.
Throughout the county over 89 Ukrainian families have successfully moved to independent living.
WCC Leader Coun Izzi Seccombe, said: “I feel so proud of our wonderful county and the generosity and compassion of people supporting our Ukrainian guests.
“It is important that as a county we continue to stand together with people fleeing from the war. Together with our partners, we’ll continue to ensure Ukrainian arrivals and their host families can access the help and support they need, as well as services such as healthcare, education, benefits and council services.
“Whilst we offer our sincere thanks to everyone who is making a massive difference to innocent people whose lives have been torn apart, we also continue to appeal for new hosts across Warwickshire.
“If you or someone you know could offer temporary accommodation to Ukrainians, please know that the county council, its partners and many residents in Warwickshire will be there to support you.”
Anyone interested in becoming a host can contact Warwickshire’s Homes for Ukraine team on 0800 408 1447 or via email [email protected]