More than 100,000 Britons have offered their homes to Ukrainian refugees, Boris Johnson has said.
The prime minister said it was “fantastic” and thanked “everyone across the country who has offered their help so far”.
A website where people can register their interest in providing a home for at least six months to Ukrainians fleeing war with Russia was launched yesterday at 4:00 p.m.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove announced the Homes for Ukraine program was open on Monday, saying there will be no limit to the number of Ukrainian refugees who can come to the UK.
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In other developments:
• Over 100,000 Brits register interest in hosting Ukrainian refugees
• UK announces sanctions against 350 more Russian citizens and entities
• The UK bans exports of luxury goods to Russia and raises import tariffs on goods including vodka
• Briton who traveled to war zone to join military fight against Russia leaves fearing ‘suicide mission’
• Employee Interrupts Russian News Program With Anti-War Slogan
Within the first hour of the website’s launch, 1,500 people registered their offer of support. Hosts will get £350 a month tax-free for opening their homes to refugees.
Any Ukrainian citizen or immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen, if they resided in Ukraine before January 1 of this year, are eligible for the plan.
They do not need to have existing family links to the UK.
How will the scheme work?
Those in the UK who have a spare room or separate self-catering accommodation that is unoccupied are asked to offer to host Ukrainians for a period of at least six months.
As an immediate step, those wishing to make such an offer are asked to register their interest in the new “Housing for Ukraine“site.
Under the first phase of the scheme, offers must be made to a specific person or persons.
Charities and other organizations may be able to help those offering accommodation get in touch with a named person.
Checks will be made on people offering to host refugees, but Gove said full DBS checks would not be needed.
Municipalities can also check that the accommodation offered is adequate.
Sponsors can be of any nationality with any immigration status, provided they have at least six months’ permission to stay in the UK.
It is free for Ukrainians to apply for the scheme.
Financial support for refugees.
Councils will be offered £10,000 per individual refugee to provide them with broader support in the UK.
Additional funds will be provided for children to go to school and all refugees will be able to access all NHS services free of charge.
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All those coming from Ukraine under the scheme will be able to apply for benefits and seek and accept employment.
They will be granted permission to stay in the UK for three years and will be able to access public services such as the NHS and education.