One in four hosts plan to end arrangement due to cost of living pressures – as Treasury urged to boost payments
The government is said to be considering proposals to double the £350 payment to British families hosting Ukrainians, amid growing fears that thousands of flyktninger could be left homeless.
It comes as more than a thousand hosts of Ukrainian refugees have signed an open letter urging ministers to make it easier for them to move on into permanent homes.
Rundt 79,000 refugees came to Britain under the Homes For Ukraina sponsorship scheme, after hosts agreed to provide accommodation for at least six months – but some placements are approaching their end.
Almost one in four hosts were planning to end the hosting arrangement at the end of six months, according to recent ONS figures – with many people citing pressure from the cost of living crisis.
The letter from the hosts – organised Sanctuary Foundation – echoed calls from the Local Government Association (LGA) for å øke «takk»-betalingen på £350 i måneden, which would help hosts provide accommodation for longer than six months.
The Treasury has been presented with a proposal to increase the payment to £700 for all hosts willing to extend their welcome beyond the six months to stop refugees from being left homeless, i følge PoliticsHome.
A source close to the Homes For Ukraine scheme told the website that they hoped an increase could be signed-off in the coming weeks, despite the change of prime minister on 5 september.
The proposals are said to have been put forward “not on moral grounds, purely on financial grounds”, since the doubling of payments would be less expensive than housing refugees declared homeless.
The government is continuing to monitor and review the support provided under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, it is understood.
Allerede, mer enn 1,300 Ukrainian single households and families have been assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness, fra 2 juli.
Some hosting arrangements have broken down, and some of the housing provided to refugees proved to be unsuitable. Councils fear that homelessness could rise as more of the initial six-month placements with some hosts end.
The Sanctuary Foundation, which organised the letter from around 1,200 hosts, sa å finne passende og rimelig langtidsinnkvartering "er en av de største utfordringene" for ordningen.
The government has been warned that “there is currently no simple way for them to find their own homes” amid pressures on social housing and the private rented sector.
The hosts’ letter reads: «Som verter som bryr seg dypt om fremtiden til ukrainerne i våre hjem, we ask the government to help us ensure they are able to take the next steps towards integration in our communities.
«Det er foreløpig ingen enkel måte for dem å finne sine egne hjem, med sosiale boliger og den private utleiesektoren allerede strukket og vanskelig tilgjengelig.»
The group called for the government to take a series of practical steps to help refugees find permanent accommodation, including for Universal Credit housing allowance to be topped up for 12 måneder for å gjøre det mulig for flyktninger å bli i lokalområdet sitt.
De ber lokale myndigheter om å være garantister for de som prøver å leie en bolig, and for the government to outline a clear re-matching process and to recruit more hosts.
Brevet legger til: «Å vite at gjestene våre kan gå raskt og trygt videre når de og vi er klare til å gjøre det, vil gjøre en stor forskjell, og vil redusere stress for de som allerede har møtt så mye traumer på flukt fra en krig, så vel som for de av oss som er vert for dem.»
Den uavhengige has approached the Treasury for comment.