Households in the UK will be offered £350 a month to open their homes to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC
tens of thousands of people could come to the UK under the scheme and he may
offer a room to a refugee.
But the Refugee Council is concerned about
the level of support for those traumatised by war.
Labour said there were unanswered questions,
accusing the government of "dragging its feet" over the crisis.
Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, people
will be able to nominate a named individual or a family to stay with them
rent-free, or in another property, for at least six months. A website to
express an interest in being a sponsor will launch on Monday.
Mr Gove also told the BBC's Sunday Morning
programme the government was looking at using the properties of Russian
oligarchs sanctioned by the UK for "humanitarian purposes" but there
was "quite a high legal bar" and this measure would lapse as
Local authorities will also receive £10,500 in extra funding per refugee for
support services - with more for children of school age, the Department for
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said.
More than 2.5 million people have so far fled
Ukraine because of Russia's invasion, in what the UN has called the
fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War Two.
Defending the government's response, Mr Gove
told the BBC the number of Ukrainians fleeing the war who had been granted
visas had now risen to 3,000.
At the moment, only those fleeing the
conflict who have family connections in the UK are able to make an application
via the Ukraine Family Scheme. Other visas are available but application
centres in Ukraine are closed.
Under the new scheme sponsors in the UK will
not be required to know the refugees in advance and there will be no limit on
numbers. Ukrainians on the scheme will be given leave to remain for three
years, with the right to work and access public services.
Mr Gove told the BBC that he anticipated
"tens of thousands" of Ukrainians might be taken in by UK families
and he hoped people fleeing the war would be able to benefit from the scheme
"within a week".