As part of the current Houses for Ukraine The scheme requires British families to stay as refugees for up to six months to receive a monthly stipend of £350. However, as the six-month deadline approaches, the number of Ukrainian refugees seeking emergency relief has now increased, prompting fears that British host families could withdraw support in the current period. Cost of living crisis.
There are currently 2,985 Ukrainian households reporting homelessness to their local council, but the actual number may be higher as not all councils provide data to the government.
Last month’s government figures showed that more than 2,000 Ukrainian families with children are now homeless with 900 people, a sharp rise of 800.
About 600 Ukrainian families are currently housed in temporary housing, such as hotels, as councils try to find them housing.
Some councils in Kent, Hampshire and Gloucestershire are offering further financial support to British host families to continue supporting Ukrainian refugees.
Local Government Association chairman James Jamieson said his organization was “deeply concerned” about the situation.
He said: “It is absolutely vital that support for sponsors is improved as inflation and energy costs rise, so new or existing hosts are encouraged to sponsor for the long term.
“Council housing and homelessness services are already under considerable pressure and the increase means families are being forced to move to temporary accommodation from the new schools, jobs and communities they have been building since their arrival.”
The leader continued: “Councils will do all they can to help those who owe homelessness obligations, but all plans to welcome new arrivals to the UK need urgent solutions to short and long-term housing needs.”
A government source spoke to The Times newspaper and said it was “inevitable” that large numbers of Ukrainian refugees with British families would break up, but that the number of current homeless people was now “growing dramatically”.
Home Secretary Michael Gove is now reported to be planning to increase fees for British hosting families, as the rising cost of living is a big factor in why so many hosts are ending the arrangement.
One source said there was an “ongoing tussle” with the Treasury over funding, but Mr Crowe argued that higher payments to hosting families would be cheaper than social housing or paying rent for Ukrainian refugees.
The source added: “I think there is a recognition on all sides that the best way to keep costs down is to encourage sponsorship arrangements to continue as much as possible.
“But obviously the government has a lot of calls on its resources at the moment.”
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A government spokesman said: “More than 105,000 people have come through the Homes for Ukraine program and most sponsors want to provide support for more than six months.
“We are working closely with councils to ensure that all those who have fled Putin’s war have a safe place to stay, and in the minority of cases where family or sponsor relationships are broken, councils have a duty to ensure that families are not left without a roof over their heads.
“All visitors get benefits from day one and we provide extra funding to councils to cover the extra costs.”
However, a senior local government official said: “We are facing a perfect storm.
“Ukraine is on a cliff edge with the housing scheme, and UK families are facing eviction because they can’t pay their rent.
“It’s an asylum crisis and tens of thousands of Afghans are still living in mostly inadequate hotels. It’s a disaster.
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