Homes for Ukraine scheme

The Homes for Ukraine scheme was launched on 14 March 2022 by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The scheme allows individuals in the UK to sponsor a named Ukrainian national or family to come to live in the UK with them, providing that the sponsor has suitable accommodation to offer and it is available for at least six months after the arrival of their Ukrainian guests.

There have been a number of changes to the original Homes for Ukraine Scheme since it was introduced. For instance, visa applications made after 19 February 2024 will now be for 18 months, whereas previously they had been three years. Existing Ukraine scheme visa holders will be able to apply for permission to remain in the UK for an additional 18 months, once their visas expire under a new Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme.

What role do councils play in this?

Councils have an essential role to play in supporting people in their area under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, both sponsors and guests. We are funded by government to provide support in the following areas:

  • Welcoming, safeguarding and settling in
  • Integration and work
  • Long-term sustainable housing
  • Reporting and data management

As a council, we are also responsible for administering the thank you payments to sponsors on behalf of central government.

Each local authority has some discretion in how best to support sponsors and guests. For instance, Herefordshire Council has taken the decision to pay all sponsors £500 per month thank you payment, irrespective of how long their guests have been there. The council has also set up a grant scheme which funds community and voluntary sector organisations to deliver support and activities to sponsors and guests. All costs come from the government funded Homes for Ukraine scheme.