Richmond.gov.uk

I’m a Ukrainian looking at future accommodation arrangements

As you reach the six month point since your arrival in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, we are aware that you may be beginning to think of the longer-term options for housing. This page sets out the different options available to you and how we may be able to help with each of them.

On this page:

Maintain existing arrangements

In the first instance we would hope that your current hosting arrangement could continue, and you may already have had a conversation with your host about this possibility. We can support you to maintain your existing arrangement by:

  • Continuing to make the £350 host thank you payment to the host for up to 12 months from the date of your arrival in the UK. The government has indicated that funding beyond this point is currently under review.
  • Partnering with Richmond MID. If you and your host are beginning to have disagreements or tensions are building, this is a useful service that can help you work through them and preserve the living arrangement.
  • Support you and your host to convert the current arrangement into a more formal lodger agreement. This will provide more certainty to you and your host. Under this option your host could also choose to begin charging rent, and can earn up to £7,500 a year tax free. However, if they do charge rent they would no longer be eligible to receive the £350 monthly host payment. More information about this option can be found on GOV.UK.

Move into private rented accommodation

You may wish to move into separate property which you rent privately. The local lettings market is very competitive and so you may need to search in a wider area for an available property at a suitable level of rent. If you are an individual or couple you may also wish to consider forming a group with others in a similar position and finding a property to share.

You may be able to receive financial support to help with the costs of rent via the Universal Credit scheme even if you are in work. There are several factors which affect how much housing support you may receive under Universal Credit including the location of the property you are renting, the number of adults and children in your household, and the amount you earn.

Advice and support

To see what you may be entitled to you can use an online calculator or talk to Citizens Advice Richmond.

You can contact Citizens Advice Richmond by completing their contact form, or calling their Adviceline on 0808 278 7873.  Find out more about the support Citizens Advice Richmond is offering to Ukrainian nationals.

We can support you secure a private rented property by:

  • Providing a deposit loan and/or rent in advance to secure a tenancy. The amount available will vary by the property size.
  • Providing a small grant to help with costs of furniture and essential white goods if required. Additional support is available from the Richmond Furniture Scheme which can provide refurbished and second-hand furniture.
  • Providing a factsheet on how the rented sector works.
  • Providing a reference to the letting agent confirming that you are on the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and are therefore entitled to receive public funds (like Universal Credit) and have the right to rent.
  • Signposting you to groups where you can meet other Ukrainians looking to rent.
  • Providing a template your hosts can use to provide a reference to the letting agent providing evidence of your suitability to rent.

This support is also available if you chose to rent outside the borough.

Guidance on private renting:

Find a new host

If you are not able to find a private rented property, you can be re-matched to a new host household. In the first instance you should try to find a new host yourself – this could be through local faith or community groups, your work, or your current host. If you are able to find a new host, please let us know so we can carry out the required checks on the new property before you move in. If you are not able to find a new host, we may be able to assist but please note that we currently have very few spare host households.

We can support you being re-matched to a new host by:

  • Completing the required DBS checks and property inspection on the new host household before you move in with them.
  • Signpost you to groups where you may be able to find an alternative host.
  • Potentially finding a new host on your behalf.

If you would like to move to a host in a new area, you need to contact us at homesforukraine@richmond.gov.uk before moving. We will then contact the council in the new area you want to move to, so they can make any necessary checks and can confirm your new living arrangements are suitable.

If you have a child aged between four and 16 it is important to consider the availability of school places in the area that you are considering moving to. Full guidance is available in the government’s annex A of the Guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK.

Homelessness support

If you are not able to find a private rented property or a new host, but your current hosting arrangement cannot continue we will assess whether it is able to help you under our duty to prevent homelessness.

If you do make a homeless application, we will assess what duties are owed to you and may be able to provide temporary accommodation although this is not available for everyone. If we are able to help with temporary accommodation this is likely to be outside the local area.

Unfortunately there is a very long waiting list for council homes and so it is very unlikely that you would receive a council property.

We can support you by:

  • Assessing you under our homelessness duties including whether you are eligible for temporary accommodation. It is important to understand that we do not have a duty to offer accommodation to everyone who is homeless. For more information about this please see the homelessness guidance on GOV.UK.
  • If you are eligible, sourcing temporary accommodation.
  • Once placed in temporary accommodation, supporting you to move on into private rented accommodation or a new host.

Further assistance

If you require assistance with any of these options please contact us on homesforukraine@richmond.gov.uk.

You will need to provide:

  • Your full names
  • The name of your sponsor
  • Full details of your situation
  • The support you would need
  • The date you have to leave your current property

Up to: Ukraine

Updated: 03 November 2022

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