First Ukraine family moves into new home under council scheme
A Ukrainian family has moved into a new home in Wiltshire after Wiltshire Council used government funding to purchase new properties.
Yuksel and Alina Yildirim and their two young children moved in just a few days ago as part of the council scheme to provide support.
The council is using government funding to purchase 24 homes across Wiltshire for Ukraine families. Yuksel and Alina were the first to move in earlier this month, but they now have Ukrainian neighbours who have moved in under the same scheme.
The council is offering further support for Ukrainian guests as they take the next steps into finding their own housing and moving on from their host families.
Wiltshire has warmly welcomed 1447 guests into the county so far and is one of the top authorities in England for taking in Ukraine nationals due to the war. Of the 1447 Ukrainians who have settled in Wiltshire, 173 families have now moved into private rented accommodation, whilst the council's Homes for Ukraine team has secured 83 rematches with new hosts from within Wiltshire and a further 27 who have been matched into Wiltshire from other local authorities; this is a mixture of community led, independent and Homes for Ukraine facilitated matching.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, visited the family in Melksham as they settled into their new home. He said:
Wiltshire has led the way in welcoming people from Ukraine and making them feel at home. We are grateful to our many hosts, who continue to provide space and a warm welcome to Ukrainian guests. For those who can no longer stay with hosts, we encourage them to speak to their case worker and explore all options.
These homes are for the families who are in desperate need. We are no doubt one of the first councils in the country to provide homes in this way. It was a joy to meet Yuksel and Alina today at their new home, where they are settling in well, and I am sure we will have many more good news stories to share in the near future.
We know that in Wiltshire there are people looking for housing and finding it difficult. While this government funding has to be used specifically for Ukraine people now, longer term it is an investment for Wiltshire residents providing more housing stock for the future.
We came over to the UK and first went to stay with family , setting up our lives in Trowbridge. Our children went to school and alongside my wife I went to language school and then later I found employment.
We are really happy with our current accommodation and this is the first time we have called a house our home. I want to thank Wiltshire Council for all the help and support. I hope they will continue their support for many more people in the same situation as ourselves. Please do not stop the financial and emotional support you are giving to the Ukrainian families fleeing from the war. We hope the war ends soon so we can all return back to our homes.
The council is working with hosts to ensure as many Ukraine families as possible can be retained within the Homes for Ukraine scheme when they are asked to leave. This involves finding another host who will be able to continue to provide accommodation as part of the matching scheme.
Every Ukrainian household has a named Case Worker assigned to support the guests to integrate into the community. This can include supporting guests to access health and education services, English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) provisions, assistance applying for support with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other key services. The support offered is tailored to meet the individual needs of each guest and a collaborative approach is taken to ensure their personal goals are reflected in holistic support planning and delivery.
For Ukrainians seeking private accommodation and for those who do not have the means to support themselves, Wiltshire is using government Ukraine funding to provide the first month's rent in advance and a deposit. The scheme only applies to people who have found a property with a reasonable rent, which may be at the local housing allowance rate or at a rate that is deemed as affordable for the family in the longer term. The council is also using government funding to provide a one-off lump sum moving grant for the physical costs of moving, including purchasing furniture.
The funding for the 24 homes is a result of a successful application for a Local Authority Housing Fund grant for the purchase of properties to be used for Ukrainian housing.
Stone Circle Housing Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wiltshire Council that was set up for the benefit of Wiltshire residents, has submitted two draft business plans to purchase homes across Wiltshire. The business plans, which have to be agreed by the council as a shareholder, include the purchase of homes specifically for Ukrainian families.
People who have queries on Ukraine matters can find information on our website at Wiltshire stands with Ukraine - Wiltshire Council. If there are specific questions related to being a host or providing community support people can email the dedicated Ukraine inbox which is H4U@wiltshire.gov.uk