We are all aware of the terrible conflict happening in Ukraine right now, and the humanitarian crisis this has created.
One of our Government’s responses to this is the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which is designed to enable people to support refugees from the Ukraine through the offer of a spare room or separate self-contained accommodation, for at least six months.
As a tenant of Bernicia, if this is something you are thinking about, there are things you may want to consider. We have outlined a summary of these below:
- There will be personal and property checks undertaken by agencies managing the resettlement scheme in relation to your suitability and the suitability of your property, to support the scheme
- You should not request payment or charge any individuals you host as part of this scheme.
- An optional £350 per month “thank you” payment will be paid for as long as you sponsor a family for up to 12 months. This is paid in arrears and is not counted as income for benefit purposes.
- There are strict guidelines on how many people can live within our properties to ensure they are not ‘overcrowded’. You can find this information in your tenancy agreement.
- Having people live with you, even short-term, may affect any financial help you receive towards your rent or service charges. This could be a payment from your local authority (Housing Benefit) or as part of any Universal Credit payment. You are strongly advised to enquire with the relevant agency to determine whether being a host could affect any payment you receive.
- There may be other arrangements around how your home as let to you, which could be related to age, or if you receive care or support services. You would have been advised of this when you moved into your home but if not, please get in touch to check.
- It is worth checking whether any insurance policies on your home or contents could be affected by hosting.
You can find more about the scheme from the government website here – Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
We want to make sure that participation in the scheme is as easy as possible for any tenant wishing to do so. For us to consider your request to host please contact us on 0344 300 3800 and we will be able to give you further information/advice relating to your individual circumstances and your tenancy with us.
There are many other ways to support the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. If you wish to find out more please click here How to help Ukraine | UN Refugee Agency (unrefugees.org.uk)