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

Date: 2022-03-13
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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 sanctions ended.


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.

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

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".

SOURCE: BBC NEWS

 

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