Refugees at Home welcomes Homes for Ukraine scheme

March 14, 2022 6:13 pm

Refugees at Home has been finding host families for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK since 2015. To date, we have found homes for over 2500 people from 65 different countries.

We welcome the Homes for Ukraine scheme announced today [14 March 2022] by Michael Gove. We know from our own experience how many generous hosts are stepping forward to welcome refugees, and we have had had an unprecedented number of calls over the past two weeks. In the last few weeks nearly 5000 people have come forward to host via our website.

We understand that the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme will be initially open to people with known connections before being expanded to include all Ukrainian nationals, with or without family or other ties. We want to see as many refugees housed as soon as possible. However, matching hosts to guests requires sensitivity and experience, and it is important that homes are properly assessed prior to a placement being made. A simple DBS check is not enough. A proper home visit needs to be undertaken to ensure that homes are suitable and that everyone in the host household is fully committed and knows what to expect; follow-up support need to be provided to both hosts and guests; move-on plans must be put in place; and there needs to be a fallback for the rare situations in which a placement does not work out.

There are other important considerations, such as the geographical location of the hosts. In our experience, refugee guests would prefer to be housed in London and large cities. Most do not want to be hosted in the countryside because they crave community, the language they speak, the food they know, English lessons, often some therapeutic help.

All of this can be achieved quickly, without adding unnecessary bureaucracy, but it must be done in a thoughtful, sensitive and thought-through way. We are looking forward to working with the Department for Levelling up to firm up on the details of the scheme over the coming days

We will of course continue to host asylum seekers and refugees fleeing other conflicts while we work on this new scheme, and we welcome applications from hosts and home visitors in London and other major cities at

Notes for Editors
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