The Disasters Emergency Committee predicts that 18 million people will be affected by the escalating conflict in Ukraine, with 4 million people expected to flee their homes as the war continues. We know that many Gateway customers are looking for ways to offer help – here’s some of the ways you can support Ukrainian people, and what you need to do if you’re planning to be a Homes for Ukraine host.
What can I do to help?
You can help people in Ukraine by making a donation to the DEC’s Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal – they work with many charities, including the British Red Cross, to provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.
Local organisations may also have volunteer opportunities, and invitations to donate clothes and other supplies.
Homes for Ukraine Hosting
You can also help by welcoming a Ukrainian person or family into your home. The Government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme supports people to offer a spare room, or separate self-contained accommodation, to Ukrainian refugee(s) for at least six months.
It’s great that you are thinking about this, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to become a host.
Below is some information that you will need to consider:
You should not ask for payment or charge any people you host as part of this scheme.
As part of your tenancy conditions, we ask you to consider the following points before making your decision. We would expect any of our customers wishing to host to have considered these in advance.
- The size of your home. There are strict guidelines set out in housing law as to how many people can live within our properties to ensure that these are not considered ‘overcrowded’. You can find this information in your tenancy agreement.
- Financial assistance with your rent. Having people living with you, even short-term, could affect any financial help you receive towards your rent or service charges. This could be a payment from your local authority (Housing Benefit) or as part of any Universal Credit payment. It would be best to enquire whether hosting could affect any payment you receive, as you will be expected to make up any difference. You can find further information on the Government website here relating to hosting and income. You can also ask to speak to a member of our Tenancy Support team who will be happy to help answer any questions about this.
- Other specific arrangements relevant to your home. There may be other arrangements around how your home was let to you, which could be related to age, or if you receive care or support services. You would have been advised of this when you moved into your home, but if not, please get in touch with us to check.
- Insurance arrangements. It is also important to check whether any insurance policies on your home or contents could be affected by hosting.
If you are interested in becoming a Host, please do contact our Gateway Direct team on 0800 953 0213 who will make sure all the above points are covered and should be able to give you a decision there and then, with no forms to complete.