I have registered my interest in becoming a host through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, when do I expect to hear?
Once the Home Office has processed your application and passed your details onto the local authority, you can expect to hear from your district council regarding the completion of housing and DBS checks. We understand that you might have been waiting a while but we are working as fast as we can to reach the many people who have signed up as a sponsor through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Please be assured that your district council will be in contact with you in the near future to start the DBS and housing checks.
Do I need a DBS Check to become a host?
Yes. One of our officers will be in touch with you once we have received your information from the Home Office.
What will a Housing Check/Inspection involve?
One of our officers will be in touch to arrange a housing inspection which will involve an in person visit to the accommodation.
What do I need to do to make my home suitable for a guest?
All accommodation will be different and while there is no set expectation, your accommodation needs to be free from serious health and safety hazards. You should make sure your home is safe for your guests and that it is in a suitable condition. You should also consider how many people you can accommodate so they have sufficient space.
Two people should not be in one room unless they are:
- adult cohabiting partners
- a parent and child
- two siblings of the same gender if aged over 10
- two siblings regardless of gender if aged under 10
Individuals who did not previously know each other should not be given the same room.
Further to this we ask that accommodation:
- be kept clean and in a reasonable state
- have adequate kitchen and bathroom space
- have access to drinking water
- have a working smoke detector on each floor of the property and other fire safety precautions suitable for the building e.g. fire doors or escape routes as appropriate
- have a working carbon monoxide detector in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove)
- have sufficient heating to keep the property at a comfortable temperature
- have safe gas appliances, fittings and flues and have undertaken a Gas Safety check within the last year
- have safe and working electrics, which a qualified electrician can help with if you are unsure
- be almost entirely free of damp or mould
- have doors and windows at entry level that lock properly
- be easy and safe to move around in, without excessively steep staircases that may cause harm
Will I receive financial support as a Host for my Guests?
There are two schemes being run by the Government, the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Scheme.
Anyone who has family members in Ukraine should apply for a visa to bring them to the UK under the Ukraine Family scheme. No Government payments are available to support this scheme.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme is aimed at people in the UK who are not related to people in the Ukraine, but wish to sponsor a guest. Under this scheme the Government clearly states “the ‘thank you’ payments are only available to those sponsoring guests via the Homes for Ukraine Scheme”.
As a district council we are required to operate these schemes and provide supporting payments in accordance with the Government requirements.
If you are looking to support a guest from Ukraine please register with the recognised Homes for Ukraine Scheme; hosts matching with guests through informal arrangements or through non-recognised schemes will not be eligible for financial support.
How will payments be administered to sponsors?
Hosts are eligible for a payment from the Government of £350 per household, per month (paid in arrears). This payment is optional to receive and is in recognition of being a host, it is not per guest or per family being housed. The payments will continue as long as the sponsorship arrangement exists, for up to 12 months.
Where guests have been in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme for 12 months, but are not yet in a position to move on independently, the 'thank you' payment to their host will increase from £350 per month, to £500 per month. The increase in payment also applies to 're-match' hosts who have housed guests if the guests' initial housing arrangements did not work out. These payments will continue as long as the sponsorship arrangement exists, for up to a further 12 months.
We will administer these payments to sponsors, the first of which will be paid a month after the guest(s) have arrived and the following monthly payments will be made around 29th of each month thereafter.
What happens if the sponsorship breaks down?
There may be some cases where the sponsor and guest relationship breaks down and the guest is homeless or at risk of homelessness. If this may be the case, please contact us as soon as possible. Our statutory homelessness duties will apply in this instance, or where possible, a new match may be explored.
Welcome Packs and Information
East Cambridgeshire District Council have produced a welcome pack:
If you require an accessible version of this document, please contact us on 01353 665555, or email ContactUs@eastcambs.gov.uk letting us know your requirements.
We have produced a guidance video with the assistance of Bogdana, a Ukrainian guest in the East Cambs district. The video sets out some helpful tasks for Ukrainian guests to do during the first week in the UK, such as setting up a bank account, registering with a GP surgery, applying for school placements and getting a UK SIM card. Please watch video here (external link).
The intention of the video is to help guests feel welcomed, with this in mind we chose to create the video with a guest speaking in Ukrainian for non-Ukrainian speaking persons we have created this PDF of what is being discussed during the video.
Olena Ostrovska is now living in Ely with Suzanne and Dr Ian Lindsay after fleeing the Donbas region of Ukraine.
You can read more about their experience here.
Each Thursday between 10:00am-1:00pm a Community Hub is held at the Lighthouse Centre, 13 Lynn Road, Ely CB7 4EG. A warm welcome and friendly atmosphere for hosts and guests to meet and socialise, with a free play area and activities for the children, along with refreshments for all attending. This is an opportunity to meet organisations and to discuss any queries you may have regarding schools, benefits, healthcare, employment and housing. Free to attend, this is a friendly and safe environment to seek support and advice.
Community Groups and Activities
Find details of local support groups, community groups and activities for all ages across East Cambridgeshire.
For information aimed at young people, including information on education, travel, wellbeing or local things to do, visit our youth pages.
Explore East Cambs
East Cambridgeshire is a beautiful place to explore and includes some stunning scenery and parks. Visit Explore East Cambs (external link) to find out more about what you can see and do in the area.
How will my personal data be used as a Host?
Local authorities use information about basic details of guests (such as age, gender, arrival date) and hosts (such as location) to plan services and support, for example to make sure there are enough school places. This information is shared with other local authorities, health services and relevant voluntary and community sector organisations. The information that is shared is not individually identifiable, only totals are shared.