Thursday, 07 July 2022

Citizen's Advice

IF you are one of those who have generously offered to host Ukrainian refugees, you need to know what is involved.

The Government hasn’t yet released complete details of how the Homes for Ukraine scheme will work but, at the time of writing, the following guidelines apply:

First, you can volunteer for someone from Ukraine to come to the UK and live with you.

If you know of specific Ukrainians whom you wish to host, those people can apply to come to the UK.

If you don’t know of any particular people you want to host, you can sign up to be matched with one or more people.

In either case, your local council will pay £350 per month per sponsor or
property.

You must be able to provide the right kind of accommodation: it can be a spare room or an empty property but it must be safe, suitable and large enough.

The local council will visit you to make sure that the living space is appropriate.

In addition, safety checks will be carried out on both hosts and guests, including police and criminal records checks.

Before you apply for the scheme, do check with your mortgage provider and/or your home insurance company, if applicable, to ensure that they have no objections.

You must be willing to let the refugee(s) stay with you, or in your separate accommodation, for at least six months — the longer the better.

You may not charge them rent. Your guests will have the right to work and study, claim benefits, use the NHS, go to school and attend free English classes.

Citizens Advice can help with claims for benefits and other necessities.

Our website has relevant information which is constantly updated as new rules are published. Visit
www.citizensadvice.org.uk

You can also call Citizens Advice Oxfordshire on 0808 278 7907.

Darius Halpern

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