Supporting Ukraine: information for host households or 'sponsors'
How to become a sponsor on the Homes for Ukraine scheme, including eligibility criteria, how to apply as a sponsor and advice about how to make your guests welcome in the UK.
If you want to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine, you can become a sponsor as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Anyone in the UK who has not been matched with a Ukrainian person or family can be a sponsor, as long as:
- you can offer a spare room or home for at least 6 months
- if you're not a British citizen, you have leave to remain in the UK for at least 6 months
- you do not have a criminal record
Being a sponsor
The government's Homes for Ukraine scheme allows people living in the UK to sponsor a named Ukrainian national or family to come to live in the UK with them, providing they have suitable accommodation to offer.
Read the government's guidance for sponsors on GOV.UK.
The government has produced a welcome pack which you can find on their website:
Essex County Council have also put together some information for sponsors welcoming a Ukrainian person or family.
'Thank you' payment
The government is offering an optional 'thank you' payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more guests. The payments will be backdated to when the guests first arrive, paid monthly in arrears.
The first payment will be made once all checks have been passed, including home and welfare checks.
Essex County Council will be processing the payments as quickly as possible. They will be contacting sponsors shortly to discuss payment details.
If you have a query about the payment, you will need to contact Essex County Council.
Email BusinessSupport.FamilyOps@essex.gov.uk or call 0345 603 7627 and ask to speak to the Homes for Ukraine team.
Welcome to Essex packs for sponsors and guests
We've worked with Essex County Council to put together an information pack for sponsors and guests taking part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
You can find the welcome pack for sponsors in Uttlesford on essex.gov.uk.
You can find the welcome pack for guests in Uttlesford on essex.gov.uk.
There is currently no specific support available from the government for households hosting Ukrainian guests under a family visa and they won't be able to claim the £350 'thank you' payment. But their guests will still be able to access services.
The British Red Cross can offer advice, guidance and signposting to Ukrainians and their family members who are in the United Kingdom under the Family Visa scheme. This advice includes topics such as immigration status, benefits and housing.
Withdrawing your interest
What to do if you have been matched with a Ukrainian guest but you are no longer able to offer accommodation.
Assigning guests to hosts has to be done via the Home Office Homes for Ukraine scheme on GOV.UK.
If your guests haven't already begun travelling to the UK, they should apply for a new sponsor as soon as possible.
If they've already arrived or are travelling, then they will be entitled to help for homelessness and should contact our Housing Options Team for help and advice as soon as possible.
If you have a query about the community or any facilities in Uttlesford, or require a referral to other agencies, please contact the Uttlesford Community Response Hub.
Additional support is also available through the Essex Wellbeing Service website or by calling 0300 303 9988.
More information on the government response to the invasion of Ukraine on GOV.UK.
The government has also produced Welcome: a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK. The guide is available in Ukrainian and Russian languages.