“Councils are continuing to work hard to help new arrivals from Ukraine settle in the UK and to support those in their communities offering assistance to those fleeing the devastating conflict."
Responding to new statistics from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities showing the number of Ukrainian households owed a homeless relief or prevention duty, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“Councils are continuing to work hard to help new arrivals from Ukraine settle in the UK and to support those in their communities offering assistance to those fleeing the devastating conflict.
“Councils, sponsors and Ukrainian guests all need to know what the options are as we get closer to the end of the six-month initial placements period so they can start planning now. There is a significant risk that – even if rematching is available – many Ukrainian families may need to present as homeless because of a lack of sponsors or other options.
“Urgent joint work is needed both to be clearer to hosts and their guests about the challenges in finding affordable housing across the UK, and to seek solutions to the pressing housing needs in the short and the long term. This will require a joined up approach across all the programmes that welcome new arrivals to the UK. Support to sponsors may also need to be enhanced to encourage people to sponsor long term particularly as inflation and energy costs increase, and we are working with government to achieve this.
“We support the Prime Minister’s agreement that those arriving through the family visa scheme should be able to be re-matched with a sponsor and access existing funding rather than being forced to present as homeless if they can no longer stay with their family. Work is needed on how councils can work with government and the community, faith and voluntary sector so those offering their homes can be quickly matched with a family in need regardless of their route to the UK.”