Ukraine flag

Homes for Ukraine

Get involved

Understanding the Homes for Ukraine Programme

The UK Government is asking people to sponsor Ukrainians to come to the UK and to offer them accommodation for a minimum of a six-month period. The accommodation can either be a room in the sponsors’ home, or a self-contained property.

This programme is being developed at a fast pace to respond to the emergency need for Ukrainians to find safety here. We recommend that you sign up for updates from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to stay up to date with changes to the scheme.

The UK Government is asking people to sponsor Ukrainians to come to the UK and to offer them accommodation for a minimum of a six-month period. The accommodation can either be a room in the sponsors’ home, or a self-contained property.

You cannot charge rent for the first 6 months of hosting. After the initial 6 months period, if you are providing a self-contained accommodation for which they have a tenancy agreement, they may be eligible for the housing benefit part of their social welfare benefits (universal credit) and will be able to pay rent at the local housing allowance rate. You should note that the housing benefit portion of Universal Credit falls short of most market-rate rental costs.

Those who sponsor will be eligible for a £350 payment per month via their Local Authority subject to satisfying their checks. Read more about financial matters regarding this scheme.

Who is eligible to be sponsored?

Those applying to be sponsored to the UK must be Ukrainian, or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, who:

  • has been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine)

  • is currently outside the UK

  • has a UK-based sponsor

The UK Government considers an immediate family member to be:

  • a spouse or civil partner

  • an unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years)

  • a child who is under 18

  • a parent (if you are under 18)

  • fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner

The person/people being sponsored will not have refugee status in the UK, instead, they will have three years’ leave to remain. They will be eligible to access public funds, health care and education and those of working age will be permitted to work. You can look into the type of support offered to refugees under this programme here.

Who is eligible to sponsor?

You must be based in the UK and have at least six months leave to remain. You can be of any nationality and must be able to prove your identity. You must have a place for your guests to stay, this could be a spare room or separate property, it cannot be a bed in shared living space. Housing rules in the UK are complicated, so check our guidance for more information.

What do I need to provide as a sponsor?

Sponsors must provide accommodation to an individual or family for a minimum of six months. You will also need to provide a welcome to your area. Your local authority will be responsible for the wrap-around support for the people you sponsor, but you should expect to provide some support yourself. Later in the toolkit, we will cover the different types of assistance: registering with a GP, dentist, accessing local and public services and opening a bank account. You can also have a look at our more detailed advice for supporting your guests here.

The accommodation you provide will need to be safe for your guests. The UK Government states:

 “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 didn’t previously know each other should not be given the same room.”

They have further guidance available on what the accommodation should meet on their website.

You should expect a visit and housing inspection from your local authority prior to, or shortly after the arrival of your guests.

Is this programme right for you?

It’s important that you make an informed decision to become a sponsor, so we encourage you to look through this toolkit and check our Homes for Ukraine website for more advice before you commit to becoming a sponsor. Don’t forget that there are lots of ways in which you can support refugees and ensure communities welcome newcomers. You might wish to consider getting involved in Community Sponsorship, connect with your local City of Sanctuary group or find ways to campaign to show that those who are displaced from their homes are welcome here.