Homes for Ukraine: key questions answered as Government scheme registrations open

Londoners have been asked to show their support for displaced Ukrainians by opening their homes to families fleeing the war zone.The Government, which has been under intense pressure to admit more refugees to the UK, has unveiled the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, allowing people to sponsor or offer shelter to Ukrainian nationals.Its website went live on Monday with people being asked to register their interest in the scheme: Within six hours of the website’s launch, 44,000 offers to host Ukrainian refugees were submitted by families and organizations with spare rooms. The website crashed. Since then, the number of applications has surpassed 100,000. Before you agree to take a family into your house, here’s everything you need to know. Individual sponsors will need to rent a spare room or property to Ukrainians fleeing from their homeland. The scheme has no time limit, but the Government is looking to find people who are willing to commit at least six months. The scheme allows Ukrainians to stay in the UK for up to three years. There is no limit to the number of Ukrainians that can be accommodated in this manner. It is up to the host to provide meals for their guest. The government is funding councils to assist Ukrainian immigrants, such as registering with a doctor and enrolling their children in school. You will need to support your new country if you accept someone in. Do I have to submit my application with someone I know? You don’t have to know them, but they could be friends, colleagues, or people you’ve met through social media. The Government is also open for people to connect with strangers in order to provide a place to call home. It suggests that you contact the “charities and faith groups, as well as local community organizations” to help match people up. The charity Refugees at Home ( has a long track record of connecting people with a spare room to refugees and asylum seekers in need of somewhere to live and is a good place to start. There is always red tape. Before you are approved to host, you will need to be “vetted” as well as undergo security checks. The visa application will be required for all guests. This will likely include checking your criminal record. This will include checking that the accommodation you offer is suitable for your needs. Michael Gove, the Levelling Up minister, has raised concerns about abuse of the system and said that the checks will stop “criminal elements.” Unanswered questions It remains to be seen how many people will actually participate. However, more than 44,000 people logged in within six hours of the website being launched and offered their homes.