Homes for Ukraine scheme – an update

On 14th March 2022 the Government launched its Homes for Ukraine scheme.  At the time there was very little information available about how the scheme would work.

In the last couple of weeks further information and updated guidance has been published. The Government has published updated guidance on the scheme for both Councils and the public.

Councils will have to undertake accommodation and DBS checks for all adults in the sponsor’s household. When the guests arrive, Councils should also assess whether a Care Act assessment is required. If the relationship between sponsor and guest breaks down, the statutory homelessness duties will apply.

Councils will receive funding of £10,500 per person to enable them to support guests. This is is in addition to the funding or the ‘thank you’ payments and there will be additional funding for education.

Regulations have been published to amend the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations, to ensure that anyone who was resident in the Ukraine immediately before 1st January 2022 and has left in connection with the Russian invasion will be eligible for allocation of housing accommodation and homelessness assistance.

Regulations have also been introduced to amend Council Tax regulations, so that a person who has secured an immigration permission under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme is disregarded for council tax discounts. It has also been confirmed that the ‘thank you’ payments of £350 per month will not be taxed and will not affect any benefit entitlement.

The Government has also published precedent excluded license agreements and excluded tenancy agreements which can be used so that sponsors and guests are clear about the terms of occupation.  Sponsors are also being advised to contact their landlord or mortgage company to get consent to take part in the scheme.

The situation is constantly evolving and there will no doubt be further updates and amendments.  We will keep an eye on these changes and update you when they happen.

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