Ukraine war: UK households offered £350 a month for hosting refugees

Households in the UK will be offered £350 a month to open their homes to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

The government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme calls on people to offer a spare room or an empty property to a refugee for a period of at least six months.

But the Refugee Council said it was worried about the level of support for people traumatised by the war.

Labour said there many unanswered questions, and accused the government of “dragging its feet” over the crisis.

More than 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine because of Russia’s invasion, in what the UN has called the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War Two.

The government has faced criticism- including from its own MPs- over the speed and scale of its response.

The first ministers of Scotland and Wales have written to the Westminster government to propose that their nations go further, acting as “super sponsors” to offer temporary accommodation to refugees and enable them to come to the UK faster.

Announcing the new scheme, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove urged people to join the “national effort” and give a safe home to those in need.

It will launch on Monday, and will initially enable someone – a sponsor – to nominate a named Ukrainian individual or family to stay with them in their home, or in a separate property, for six months.

Sponsors won’t be required to know them in advance – they might find them, for example, through posts on social media.

Applications would be made online, with both sponsors and refugees having to go through a Home Office vetting procedure. The sponsor would get a “thank you” payment of £350 a month.