St Leger Homes of Doncaster

We stand with Ukraine

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Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday 24 February 2022, hundreds of thousands of people have left their homes to escape the conflict.

The situation in Ukraine

General help, advice and support for the situation in Ukraine can be found on Doncaster Council’s website https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/the-council-democracy/situation-in-ukraine

Homes for Ukraine

If you want to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine, you can become a ‘Sponsor’ as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Phase 1 of the Homes for Ukraine scheme opened on 18th March for visa applications from Ukrainian applicants who have named people in the UK willing to sponsor them.

Lots of very useful information and advice on the scheme is contained on the Government’s website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-frequently-asked-questions


What can I do to help?


You can help people in Ukraine by making a donation to the DEC’s Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal – they work with many charities, including the British Red Cross, to provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.
Local organisations may have volunteer opportunities, and invitations to donate clothes and other supplies. Your local voluntary action centre will be able to help you find any opportunities near you.

The Government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme supports people to offer a spare room, or separate self-contained accommodation, to Ukrainian refugee(s) for at least six months.

The most current information can be accessed through the Government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ information page and can be viewed here. There is also a set of FAQs that may answer some of the questions you have, which can be viewed here.

Please consider all the points that might affect you and your home from our FAQs below and all the FAQs from the Government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ information page here before you make your decision.


How to register for the Government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme:

  1. Consider all points that will affect you and your home from FAQs
  2. Register your interest in becoming a sponsor as part of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine settlement scheme
  3. Your application will be shared with:
  • a. your local authority - Doncaster Council for Environmental Health assessment and DBS checks
  • b. your landlord - St Leger Homes to advise of any issues.


Please note: your home will be inspected to ensure it meets criteria set by the Government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme.


Please do not apply to St Leger Homes directly.


Homes for Ukraine Scheme FAQ's


We support the aims of this scheme and will not unreasonably withhold permission to anyone who wants to offer a spare room to a Ukrainian guest or family. However before you do this, you will need to meet the criteria set out on the Government website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-sponsor-guidance.

As part of the Home Office process to be approved as a Sponsor we are required to review your tenancy to ensure it is suitable and available for at least 6 months. If you are currently having difficulty maintaining your tenancy and participation in this scheme could make that more difficult for you, we may withhold permission.

If you currently have a court order on your tenancy or are pending a court hearing, we may not give permission for you to take part. This is because you must be able to offer stable accommodation for at least 6 months and you may be unable to do so.

Yes – as long as you have a spare room, you can register your interest. 

The Government are clear that this must be a separate spare room and not a sofa bed in a living area. 

We will check that you are not overcrowding the property in order to provide this or making someone else homeless to do this. An inspection of your property will be carried out as part of the application process.

No. You should not charge any rent. The Government are offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more household (subject to the accommodation they have).

The ‘thank you’ payment is limited to one payment per residential address. You will continue to receive payments for as long as you sponsor somebody and for up to 12 months. This payment will be made in arrears.

Prior to payment, eligibility checks will be carried out which will include a visit to your home.

At the present time, unless the Government state otherwise, they would be a lodger. This would mean that if you wanted them to leave you would have to give them reasonable notice – you should aim to give them two months’ notice. For example if you want them to leave after 6 months, you should give them notice at 4 months. 
You are responsible for your tenancy and anyone staying at your property. It would be your responsibility to ensure that any problems are resolved and do not affect your tenancy. As a landlord we always work with our tenants to resolve any issues of anti-social behaviour but serious and ongoing anti-social behaviour can result in enforcement action.

Offering a room in your home is a very generous thing to do, but it is also a big step.  To make sure that the placement is a successful one, it’s important to have thought about some of the practical issues and ground rules about your home, these could include:

*How you might share common areas of the house, such as the bathroom, kitchen and dining room.

*Will you have meals together or do you want to allocate use of the kitchen at certain times?

*How will laundry facilities be shared?

*What about sharing housework chores and are you someone who likes guests to keep things tidy?

*Rules around smoking, alcohol or noise in your home.

*Do you do work from home, how might this be affected?

*Is internet access available and how will that work?

*Insurance - checking insurance policies on your home or contents that could be affected by hosting.

Will my benefits be affected?

Claimants who opt to receive the monthly £350 ‘thank you’ payment must declare it and it should be recorded on the claimant’s claim.  However, as it is a payment of local welfare provision, it is disregarded as both unearned income and capital.  

This means the £350 will not be treated as income and so won’t affect benefits you may be claiming.  

As the Ukrainian national and their family members, if applicable, are living temporarily with the Sponsor they are not considered to be normally residing with them:

Will I still be bedroom taxed?

There is no change to the number of bedrooms which the claimant is entitled. If you are currently charged for a spare room due to Bedroom Tax, this will not change.

Non-dependant deductions

Ukrainians will not attract a non-dependant deduction in Housing Benefit.  

Severe Disability Premium

The Sponsor will not lose their entitlement to the Severe Disability Premium. 

Council Tax

Council tax discounts will not be affected if you sponsor and host Ukrainian guests in your home.

As a sponsor, the first thing to do will be to make sure guests are comfortable in their accommodation and setup with the basics. They should have enough food and essential supplies like toiletries and it’s worth checking that they’ve got access to a mobile phone and the internet so they can stay in touch with family and friends.

Your guest is unlikely to be familiar with the layout of your local area or how to get around easily. Some practical advice on things like getting to and from your home, where the local shops are, and where to catch buses and trains will go a long way. As a sponsor, you’re not expected to provide transport for your guests throughout their stay.

It would be helpful to direct your guests to public services. For example, this could involve helping your guests to contact and register with a local GP and NHS dentist. 

Awards

Contact

St Leger Court
White Rose Way
Doncaster
DN4 5ND
Tel: 01302 862862
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