Homes for Ukraine scheme and supporting the effort to house refugees

25 March 2022

Housing associations are committed to helping provide homes, employment and support for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

The government has launched the 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme to enable people living in the UK to host Ukrainian individuals or families for six months.

Housing association residents, including social renters and shared owners, are welcome to take part, and housing associations want to do whatever they can to support this.

The government’s FAQs provide some information about how the scheme will work, and further detailed guidance is expected soon.

Here is a summary of what has been confirmed so far, and what issues we’re seeking further clarification on in the guidance:

  • People who provide accommodation through the scheme will be offered a thank you payment of £350 per month.
  • The government has confirmed that this payment will not be treated as income for the purposes of benefit entitlements.
  • Individual hosts under the Homes for Ukraine scheme will not be able to charge rent. However, refugees will be able to apply for benefits and to seek and take up employment.
  • Social renters and shared owners should let their housing association know if they intend to host someone though the scheme, so you can provide the appropriate consent, ensure the accommodation is appropriate, and connect people up to the right support.
  • The government has said the scheme is open for both individuals and organisations to register an interest, but the initial focus is on individuals. We are seeking clarification on how organisations will be able to take part.
  • We know many of you are keen to offer other forms of housing, such as voids or vacant rooms in extra care or sheltered housing schemes. We’re urging the government to include some flexibility within the various schemes to enable the sector to do this in both the immediate and longer term.

See the CIH and BME National supported Housing Rights resource for new arrivals for up to date information.    

Wider efforts to house refugees

Housing associations are also committed to helping the effort to resettle people over the longer term beyond this scheme, and we are talking to the government about how this could work. Coordinating any offers we make with local authorities and funding for support will be crucial, as will ensuring people are able to rent homes and have access to housing benefits.

Housing associations also remain focused on doing what they can to house Afghan refugees who are not yet resettled, and we are raising this in our conversations with the government.

Get in touch

We’re keen to hear about any work our members are doing in this important area, as well as any questions you have or key issues you would like us to raise. Please contact Policy Leader Sue Ramsden if there’s anything you’d like to share.