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Wiltshire Council calling for more hosts this Ukraine Independence Day

Wiltshire Council is calling for more people to come forward to help house Ukrainians in the county as the people of Ukraine celebrate their Independence Day (24 August).

Published 23 August 2023
Homes4Ukraine logo on a white background

Wiltshire Council is calling for more people to come forward to help house Ukrainians in the county as the people of Ukraine celebrate their Independence Day (24 August).

To encourage more people to register for the Homes for Ukraine scheme and provide accommodation for Ukrainians who are already in Wiltshire, the council will be offering a one-off £200 payment. This payment would be made to anyone who refers a new host into the scheme that can commit to hosting Ukrainians for a minimum of six months and is successfully matched with a guest.

Since the start of the Homes for Ukraine scheme (opens new window), Wiltshire has warmly welcomed 1503 guests into the county and has been one of the top authorities in England taking in Ukraine nationals due to the war.

With Ukraine guests still arriving in the county and other guests moving on from their original host families requiring rematching, the need for hosts offering to house families is still just as great.

Approximately 1,500 households originally registered for the Homes for Ukraine scheme (opens new window) in Wiltshire, however, the current number of registered households stands at 708. There are currently 264 families (526 guests) in Wiltshire who are still in active sponsorship, and a further 206 families who have now moved into privately rented accommodation.

The council is using Local Authority Housing Fund to acquire homes for Ukrainian families and to date has completed on the purchase of 19 properties, with a further 5 being purchased. Nine families have moved into these properties, moving away from host settings. In addition, the Council are assisting Stone Circle in the acquisition of homes for Ukrainian families, complementing those being acquired directly by the Council.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: We received many offers of support from Wiltshire residents willing to provide homes for Ukraine people when the Homes for Ukraine scheme first began last year.

Now that the scheme has been operating for more than a year, the number of available hosts has decreased for a variety of reasons. Therefore, we are at a point where we are once again asking those who might be prepared to provide a safe home to a Ukraine guest, to register their interest at (opens new window). We are particularly in need of hosts in Salisbury, Chippenham, Devizes, Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon, Melksham and Calne. Anyone who refers a successfully matched host into the scheme, that can commit to a minimum of six-months will also receive a £200 payment as a thank you from us.

We are also reaching out to landlords in the private sector who may have any available property that they would be willing to rent out to a Ukrainian household. Many households we are working with are financially independent and can self-fund the upfront costs into the private rented sector however, for those households who need our support, we can assist with the deposit and rent in advance for a property, pending an assessment being conducted.  Any landlord who would like to discuss this further, can email (opens new window).

For guests who can no longer stay with host families or wishing to move into their own privately rented accommodation, our dedicated team will be on hand to offer advice and support. We are also using government funding in an innovative way to purchase homes with the Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF) and through Stone Circle that can be used for Ukraine nationals now and for wider use for Wiltshire residents into the future. So far we have had nine Ukrainian families move into their new homes.

A current host on the Homes for Ukraine scheme, said, My partner and I successfully navigated ourselves through the six months during which we faced many 'interesting' situations, some of which we felt sorely needed caseworker involvement because of their expertise and professional approach.  On each occasion they were able to offer extremely helpful advice and reliable assistance and that made a huge difference to the outcome of the more complex family relational situations that arose right up to the end.  Their considerable efforts over the final weeks to set up new hosts were much appreciated by us. 

Please accept our gratitude and thanks for a job really well done.

Anyone interested in hosting Ukraine people can register their interest at (opens new window) to receive more information on how to apply. Hosts can be of any nationality, with any immigration status, provided they have at least six months' leave to remain within the UK. Hosts need to provide accommodation for a minimum of six months. The government will provide a payment of £350 per month for up to 12 months for those offering accommodation. Once the guest has been in the UK for 12 months, the payment will increase to £500, up to a maximum duration of two years.

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. 

Wiltshire Council has a page with information, including details on the referral scheme, at Support for Ukraine - Wiltshire Council

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