Homes for Ukraine - support for hosts
Become a host
If you want to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine, you can become a host as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Register your interest by completing our online form, and a member of our team will get in touch to tell you more about the scheme.
What to expect
After you register your interest in becoming a host for the Homes for Ukraine scheme, we will contact you to arrange a free DBS check for every person over 16 that lives in your home (not the arriving refugees).
If you are using an unoccupied property for the scheme, we will still need to do a free DBS check for you but may not need to check the other members of your family.
We will prioritise your checks if you already have Ukrainian nationals staying with you.
Your local council will contact you to arrange a convenient time for the inspection.
They will check to make sure the property:
- is clean, warm, safe and in a reasonable state
- has an empty room and adequate space for your guest. A bed in a shared space is not an appropriate offer of accommodation for 6 months and people who didn’t previously know each other should not be given the same room. Two people should not be in one room unless they are:
- adult cohabiting partners
- a parent and child
- 2 siblings of the same gender if aged over 10
- 2 siblings regardless of gender if aged under 10.
- has working smoke detectors on each floor of the property
- has a working carbon monoxide detector in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance
- has a report showing that a gas safety check (if you have gas appliances) has been completed on the property within the last year. If you need to arrange a gas safety check, you can either organise this yourself using a gas safe registered engineer or we can arrange one for you.
The visit should last around one hour and you should hear back from us with any issues you need to address within 48 hours.
You can find out more about the basic accommodation needs for Homes for Ukraine on GOV.UK.
Free home fire safety checks
The Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) are supporting hosts by offering free home fire safety visits. The visit may include:
- installing fire alarms
- installing a carbon monoxide alarm
- fire safety advice.
To find out more, visit the KFRS website and quote KFRSUkraine when booking.
Complete this form to tell us your guests have arrived. We will then arrange a welfare check as soon as possible to make sure that everything is okay and to see if you need any further support.
If you are unable to complete the form, please call us on 03000 419820.
As a Homes for Ukraine host, you will get a £350 'thank you' payment at the end of each month.
From October, you will get your £350 thank you payment, plus an additional top-up payment depending on how many guests you have staying with you:
|Number of Ukrainian guests||Thank you payment||Top-up payment||Total monthly payment|
|7 or more guests||£350||£650||£1,000|
In March 2023, if you have supported your guests for over 6 months, we will also pay you an extra £500 in recognition of your continued support during these difficult times.
We will contact you to arrange your payments when:
- all of the checks have been completed
- we've received a satisfactory DBS certificate for each eligible person in your home
- you've told us that your guests have arrived.
If you haven't heard from us and we have already completed your checks, we will be in touch soon and payments will be backdated to the date your guests arrived.
We will provide Ukrainian refugees with a one-off £200 payment. We will process this as soon as possible after you've completed the form to tell us they have arrived.
We will only organise rematches for hosts who have:
- already signed up to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme
- completed the relevant checks.
We can only rematch guests and hosts if:
- we decide it is not viable or safe for the Ukrainian guests or the host to continue the placement
- or DBS or accommodation checks fail.
If you feel it is no longer viable or safe for your Ukrainian guests to stay with you, please email us at Ukraine@kent.gov.uk as soon as possible. In all other circumstances, contact your local district or borough council for help rehousing your guests.
We do not accept rematches from outside of Kent. We cannot accept any informal rematches made by individuals or through third parties.
We are also unable to move those who travelled under the family scheme into the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
You are committed to hosting guests for a minimum of 6 months, but you may choose to continue beyond the initial 6 months if you and your guest wish.
If you don’t want to continue the arrangement beyond 6 months (or at any time after that), you should let your guest know in plenty of time so they can make other arrangements. You should aim to give notice 2 months before the end of the 6 months (or with 2 months’ notice before any later date).
Guests will have access to public funds and, after leaving your home, will be able to rent a property like anyone else. If they need to, they’ll be able to claim the housing part of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.
Reset, a refugee charity, have some practical advice on the next steps when hosting comes to an end and are also running free webinars on planning for the end of hosting. Find out more and register for the webinars on the Reset website.
For more information on the Homes for Ukraine scheme, read the sponsor guides on GOV.UK.
If you need to contact us, email Ukraine@kent.gov.uk.
How to support your guest
It’s really important that you support your guest to access things that are important to everyday life.
- The government have issued guidance for guests which includes specific information for those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
- Visit the supporting your guest section of the Reset website for information and guidance.
- Visas - visa applications are managed by the Home Office and we have no access to the visa system or the ability to escalate visa enquiries. If you'd like support with your guest's visa, call the Home Office's visa helpline on 0808 164 8810 and press option 1.
- We have put together a list of services that your guest may need to use.
- Read the guide for new refugees on GOV.UK.
- The Red Cross has advice on coping with the Ukraine crisis, including support for those suffering with trauma.
- You may want to watch some of the videos on a YouTube channel called English with Ukrainians, where Ukrainian translators have translated lessons and discussed language and cultural differences. There are also activities that are suitable for you to do with your Ukrainian guests.