The government has established the Homes for Ukraine website for anybody interested in hosting a refugee, with 89,000 people joining up on the first day. Michael Gove, the Housing and Communities Secretary, stated that the UK has a tradition of “supporting the most vulnerable during their darkest hours”
He stated that there would be no limit to the number of Ukrainians who may join the UK under the visa sponsorship system. Each family that houses a refugee will get £350 per month in tax-free payments.
They will not be expected to supply food or living expenses, but they may choose to do so. Those interested in providing a rent-free place in their house or a separate domicile for at least six months can register their interest online.
They will be allowed to sponsor a Ukrainian national’s visa individually beginning on Friday. Those initial applications will be based on the applicant knowing a specific individual from Ukraine who they wish to assist.
However, Mr Gove stated that Ukrainian refugees with no family or other ties to the UK can and will be welcomed as part of the plan. He stated that the sponsorship plan will initially be limited to persons who already knew each other in order to get it “up and running as soon as possible”
The program will be expanded with the cooperation of charities, community groups, and churches that can assist in pairing refugees with hosts. There is no timetable for when this will happen, although Mr Gove stated that it will happen “rapidly”
The administration has been chastised, notably by its own MPs, for the pace and breadth of its reaction to the refugee crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Since Vladimir Putin authorized the Russian invasion about three weeks ago, approximately three million people have fled Ukraine.
Mr Gove initially stated that the scheme was open to Ukrainian nationals and residents, but his department later clarified that those eligible were Ukrainian nationals and immediate family members who had lived in the country prior to January 1.
Refugees will have access to the NHS and other public services as part of the plan. Their children will be able to attend public schools in the area. Local governments would also get an additional £10,500 per refugee for support services, with further funds available for school-aged children.
Everyone in the UK, according to Mr. Gove, is “in awe of the bravery of the people of Ukraine” “The victims of savage, indiscriminate, unprovoked aggression, their courage under fire and their determination to resist inspires our total admiration,” he added. “The United Kingdom stands with Ukrainian people.”
Hosts and refugees participating in Homes for Ukraine will be screened.