Homes for Ukraine - new sponsors and hosts
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If you do not currently host a Ukrainian guest but would like to offer shelter and support to someone then the information on this page will help you.
The Government has produced a series of guides with lots of information to guide you through the sponsorship process, visa applications and other things you will need to consider before offering a home to someone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
You can find this information using the links below:
You may also find our pdf Wychavon Homes for Ukraine new sponsor guide (187 KB) useful in helping you prepare for the arrival of your guest(s)
Financial support for you
In line with Government guidance for the Homes for Ukraine scheme, sponsors will be paid a monthly ‘thank you’ payment. The payment is optional so you do not have to claim it.
For the first six months you host a guest in your home you will be paid £350 a month. Worcestershire councils have agreed from months 7 to 24 payments will increase to £600 a month, to recognise the longer-term contribution hosts are making to support our Ukrainian guests.
If you do decide to claim the monthly 'thank you' payments, then the first payment will be made a month after your guest’s arrival date, as long as:
- Your property check having been completed and passed
- Your original DBS certificate having been returned and verified in person or by post by Worcestershire County Council
- The completed, signed and dated sponsor declaration below having been returned to Wychavon District Council
The payment will not affect any benefits you are receiving or any Council Tax discount you are claiming.
To claim the payment you will need to fill in your details on a form sent to you via email, when your accommodation check is confirmed. You will also be required to physically complete and sign a declaration. Please note electronic signatures will not be accepted.
The money will be paid by bank transfer each month and is paid in arrears. The payment process starts once you let us know your guest(s) has arrived and we have confirmation that all your checks have been passed.
We will carry out regular checks to make sure your guests are still staying with you and you must inform us as soon as they leave so that we can stop your payments.
We reserve the right to reclaim money from anyone who fails to tell us their guest(s) have left their accommodation and continues to claim the monthly payment.
Council Tax and Ukrainian refugees
The Government has set out guidelines to help protect Council Tax payers whose bills might have increased as a result of helping out under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This applies to all Ukrainian refugees who have permission to enter or to stay in the United Kingdom granted under the Governments Homes for Ukraine Scheme.
If you share of have let a property to a Ukrainian Refugee, please provide the address of the property, names of the refugees and date that they moved in. Please also provide any documentation you have to support that they have permission to enter or to stay in the United Kingdom granted under the Governments Homes for Ukraine Scheme if any of the following discounts or exemptions apply to you and email these to:
25% single person discount
If you are the only adult aged 18 or over living in your property and are receiving the 25% single person discount and you share your home with a Ukrainian refugee(s) you will continue to receive a 25% discount. The refugee(s) will be disregarded for Council Tax purposes.
Occupied properties that are exempt
- Class N – occupied only by students
- Class S – Occupied only by persons under 18
- Class U – Occupied only by people who are severely mentally impaired
If you are receiving an exemption for one of these reasons and you share your home with a Ukrainian refugee(s) you will continue to receive the exemption.
Empty properties that are exempt
- Class B – Owned by a charity that is unoccupied for less than 6 month
- Class D – Left empty by someone who is in prison or detained
- Class E – Left empty by someone who has moved into a hospital of care home
- Class F – Left empty where the former owner has died and awaiting grant of probate
- Class H – Left empty awaiting occupation by a minister of religion
- Class I – Left empty by someone who lives elsewhere to receive personal care
- Class J – Left empty by someone who has moved out to provide personal care
- Class K – Left empty owned by a student
- Class L – Repossessed property
- Class Q – Left empty by bankrupt individual
- Class T – Unoccupied property forming part of a property (annex) which cannot be let separately
If you are receiving an exemption for one of these reasons and you let your property to a Ukrainian refugee(s) you will continue to receive the exemption.
Unoccupied furnished or unfurnished properties where the full rate of Council Tax is being paid
If you are paying the full rate of Council Tax for an empty property and you let your property to a Ukrainian refugee(s) the Council Tax charge will be reduced by 50%. Please provide the names of the refugees, the date they moved in and evidence that they have permission to stay in the UK under the scheme.
Council Tax Regulations require us to issue bills in the name of the residents and therefore the refugee will be liable to pay the 50% Council Tax bill. In some cases the sponsor may wish to make payment on their behalf but the bill will remain in the name of the occupier, who should also consider making a claim for Council Tax Support.
Contact Council Tax
If you have any questions about Council Tax and the Homes for Ukraine scheme then please contact our team by emailing
How you can help your guest(s)
As well as making sure your guest(s) basic needs are met and helping them adjust to life in the area, there are three important things we would ask you to do as soon as possible, ideally within the first 72 hours of their arrival. They are:
- Register them with a GP (and a dentist if possible)
- Set them up a bank account
- Help them make their Universal Credit application
Setting them up with a bank account will be a really important part of them settling into life in the UK.
Mental health support for your guest(s)
If you find your guests are very traumatised and need support then you should contact the GP you have registered them with. This will enable them to access local mental health services.
Worcestershire County Council is working with local mental health services and we hope to receive more information about local support soon.
Other frequently asked questions
These are answers to some of the questions we are being asked the most. We will update this list as we get more information.
You can also read the Government’s Homes for Ukraine Frequently Asked Questions on gov.uk (opens new window).
Can I charge rent?
You cannot charge rent as part of the scheme. You can ask for a reasonable contribution towards general household expenses (gas and electric, broadband, etc.) should you wish. The Government has not defined what a reasonable contribution is. You should take into account the circumstances of the person or people you are hosting. A guest can raise this with us if they feel they are being asked to pay an unreasonable amount.
Your guest(s) will be given an initial £200 payment to help them through until their benefit claim is processed or they find work should they be in a position to do so.
When they first arrive you are asked to provide basic needs, such as toiletries, but you are not expected to provide food and other essentials.
If your guest requires help accessing food, medicines and other essentials then they should contact the Worcestershire Here 2 Help service.
What happens if my guest arrives and they wish to move out or I no longer want to be part of the scheme?
If you find that the demands of looking after your refugee or refugee family are too much for you, or you wish them to leave your property for another reason, then you should contact our Housing team.
We will discuss the situation with both of you and try to come to an agreement. If that fails then your refugee or refugee family will be considered homeless and our Housing team will step in to offer support and alternative accommodation if possible.
While the scheme expects you to host for a minimum of six months, your guest(s) are under no obligation to remain in your household indefinitely. They are free to work and access benefits while living in the UK and may wish to use this income to rent privately once they have settled in.
If they wish to do this then a guide to renting in the UK on GOV.UK is available to support them.
They are also eligible to register for social housing and we will be writing to you and your guest(s) early on during their stay with more information on how they go about this.
Will guests have had Covid vaccines/do we need to sign them up?
Guests do not have to be vaccinated to come to the country but are able to access free vaccination on the NHS, in line with residents in England. If they have had no vaccinations to date, they can simply attend one of the local clinics.
If they had received one or more doses in Ukraine, they should speak to a GP beforehand as the vaccine they have received may be different to those used in the UK.
You can also download the Covid-19 vaccine information guide in Ukrainianto offer your guest(s) more information.
Your guests can also contact the free Barnardo's helpline. Ukrainian and Russian translation is available through this helpline.