Home Business News Homelessness is ‘the worst possible outcome for Ukrainian guests’

Homelessness is ‘the worst possible outcome for Ukrainian guests’

by LLB political Reporter
23rd Feb 24 9:28 am

London Councils has responded to a new report from a parliamentary committee raising concerns about homelessness among Ukrainians in the UK.

The Public Accounts Committee warns that the risk of homelessness is likely to increase as arrangements between Ukrainian guests and their UK sponsors end or break down.

Cllr Grace Williams, London Councils’ lead for asylum and refugees, said, “London has a long history of offering sanctuary to those fleeing war and persecution, and boroughs have been proud to play a key role welcoming Ukrainians to the capital.

“The capital’s shortage of affordable housing makes it extremely hard to find suitable accommodation for everyone who needs it. Homelessness is the worst possible outcome for Ukrainian guests and is a serious concern for boroughs. London is already grappling with the most extreme homelessness crisis in the country.

“With the conflict continuing and London’s housing pressures as severe as ever, this challenge is not going away. Boroughs will continue doing everything they can to help Ukrainian refugees into suitable accommodation. The government must ensure councils have the resources required to deliver this support, alongside all the other pressures currently facing local services.”

Since February 2022, 1,930 Ukrainian households have been or are owed a homelessness prevention or relief duty by a local authority in London.

Of these, according to DLUHC figures, 320 are housed in temporary accommodation by the local authority. Reasons for homelessness include sponsorship arrangements breaking down and accommodation not being available or suitable on arrival.

Of the 1,930 households owed a duty in London, 740 households are Family Scheme arrivals. There is no tariff funding for these arrivals. Tariff funding has been essential for London boroughs to support Ukrainians into private rented sector accommodation.

Key borough uses of funding have included: helping Ukrainians pay deposits and first month’s rent on PRS accommodation; providing furniture, household essentials or help with moving costs; making incentive payments to landlords and topping up thank you payments.

The future of funding for this cohort therefore will have a major impact on homelessness outcomes. Ukraine visa arrivals will now be able to apply to extend their visas by 18 months, but no additional funding has been made available for local authorities supporting them.

London has the most severe homelessness crisis in the country. According to London Councils’ analysis, more than 170,000 Londoners are currently homeless and living in temporary accommodation organised by their local borough. This equates to one in 50 residents of the capital.

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