“The LGA has been raising concerns with government on the growing number of Ukrainians presenting as homeless to councils, and in particular the significant rise in those who arrived through the Homes for Ukraine scheme as their six month period with hosts ends", says Chairman of the Local Government Association, Cllr James Jamieson.
Responding to the announcement of a £650 million support package for Ukrainians, including increased ‘thank you’ payments for longer-term hosts, Chairman of the Local Government Association Cllr James Jamieson, said:
“The LGA has been raising concerns with government on the growing number of Ukrainians presenting as homeless to councils, and in particular the significant rise in those who arrived through the Homes for Ukraine scheme as their six month period with hosts ends.
“Whilst we are keen to see further detail on how the schemes will work in practice, we are pleased that the Government has been working with the LGA and councils on funding to help families move to their own homes, reduce homelessness risks and help local partners acquire more housing. The flexibility to open these up to more general use in the long term will also assist with other housing challenges across local communities.
“We are also pleased to see the extension of thank you payments to generous hosts offering up their homes for over a year, and support for new sponsors to step forward as the crisis in Ukraine continues. We want to continue to work with government to build a range of ways to support both those opening up their homes and their guests.
“With councils working through competing priorities and pressures within already overstretched resources, the need for ongoing funding to integrate arrivals into their new communities, build their independence and keep them safe is crucial. We are therefore pleased that this funding for new arrivals is to continue, though we have concerns that the amount is to be reduced.
“There is a real crisis in the refugee and asylum system which is compounded by a housing crisis. It is good the Government is starting to take action around a joined up approach to challenges across all programmes, including for asylum seekers. We look forward to continue working with them to identify and implement further solutions to accommodation challenges.
“Councils have been at the sharp end of the rise in the number of people presenting as homeless and need urgent solutions to pressing housing needs in the short and the long term across all the schemes that welcome new arrivals to the UK.”