According to Opora’s Stan Benes, people have to live in rooms “with high humidity, mold on the walls, no repairs.” The government says the “benevolent Britons” have provided housing for 117,100 refugees from Ukraine, and recently allocated £1m for English courses for Ukrainians.
More than half of Ukrainian refugees cannot find affordable housing after moving to the UK, according to a study published a year after the launch of the Homes for Ukraine program. It is reported by The Guardian.
In 2022, more than 117,000 Ukrainians came to the UK as part of the resettlement assistance program. 49,000 were reunited with relatives who already lived in the British Isles.
However, the results of a study conducted by Generation Rent and Opora, organizations that support Ukrainians in the UK, showed that 49% could not find a guarantor to help pay for housing, and 43% did not have money for a rental deposit. The study involved 325 refugees.
A total of 4,630 Ukrainian refugees were classified as homeless after their first six months of housing sponsors withdrew further support.
According to the Association of Local Governments, the number of Ukrainians who have nowhere to live has increased by 44% over the past month.
At the same time, the program for providing housing to Ukrainians in the UK is generally called quite successful. As part of Homes for Ukraine, 71% of Ukrainian citizens were provided with housing by Britons with whom they had not previously met, according to the Sanctuary Foundation, one of the main organizations that helps Ukrainians solve the housing problem.
Irina Shevchuk and her children are in the refugee center in Strhem
Its founder, Krish Kandia, said it was the UK’s biggest refugee crisis initiative since Kindertransport.
We are talking about the mass evacuation of children without parents from the territories occupied by the Nazis. The export continued for nine months until the outbreak of World War II. Then a total of 10,000 mostly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland came to the British Isles.
According to the Sanctuary Foundation, the Homes for Ukraine program can become a model for other similar initiatives, as allowed taxpayers to save 4.4 billion pounds (almost 5 billion euros).
Maria Karabinenko with children remains in the refugee center in Wimbledon
Housing problem in the UK
Representatives of other organizations say that Ukrainians in the UK face various housing difficulties. According to Stan Benes, manager of Opora, people have to live in rooms that are definitely not suitable for this – “with high humidity, mold on the walls, in rooms without repair.”
According to Anastasia Salnikova, who runs J&C Soul, local authorities often tell refugees from Ukraine that they need to find and rent apartments on their own, but they understand that the IDPs cannot afford it.
Anna Didenko, her husband Dmitry and their two sons, 10-year-old Yaroslav and Bogdan, moved to the London borough of Hounslow after their first “sponsor” could no longer provide housing.
At first they were told that they would have to live in temporary housing for 2-3 weeks, but for 8 months they have been in a room where there is only one kitchen for seven families.
“We are happy to be here, far from danger. But it seems to us that we are being neglected, they don’t notice us,” said Didenko, who previously worked as an accountant in Kyiv.
All the numerous meetings with realtors in private turned out to be unsuccessful, because the refugees from Ukraine did not have an income or the required amount of money as a rental deposit. There is no space in their room to even put a table, the son has to detail the lessons on the top bunk of the double bed.
“It’s impossible to plan anything. In our situation, we feel humiliated and demoralized,” the Kiev woman explained.
Yaroslav Ivanyuk, 9, does his homework on the bed he shares with his younger brother.
UK government response
Local government officials said that since the launch of the Homes for Ukraine project, 117,100 refugees have been provided with housing, “thanks to the generosity of British families across the country.”
“All guests can work, benefits are also available to them, and local governments are making sure that none of them are left homeless,” the government explained.
“We’re allocating per-guest payments through Homes for Ukraine and have recently increased our sponsorship thank you payment. Just yesterday, we committed £1m to help Ukrainians improve their English and open up job opportunities,” he added.
Recall that from April 1, 10,000 Ukrainian refugees may be forcibly evicted in Ireland, after the ban on evictions that was in effect throughout the winter was lifted.
Earlier, Focus reported that, according to the Red Cross, Ukrainian refugees in Scotland live for months in windowless cabins on cruise ships.
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