People hosting Ukrainians as part of the Kent County Council (KCC) Homes for Ukraine Scheme are set to receive more money every month as part of a county-wide increase.
The Government continues to set host payments at £350 per accommodation, but KCC has decided to increase this to recognise not only the generosity and kindness of Kent hosts, but also the challenges they currently face from increasing costs in energy, the price of food and rising inflation.
KCC has taken the decision to increase the payments after fears many people wouldn’t be able to afford to extend their current six-month agreements as winter approaches and the cost-of-living bites.
The increased payments will begin at the end of October and will continue until March 2023, when the current Government scheme ends. This applies to existing hosts who are already in receipt of thank you payments, and new hosts who complete all the checks satisfactorily going forward. There is also a separate hardship fund available to those who may need extra financial support in order to continue to provide accommodation for Ukrainian guests.
For those hosts who have supported their guests for more than 6 months, the council will also pay an additional £500 in March 2023 in recognition of their continued support during these difficult times.
So far 3871 people have been matched with 1642 hosts in Kent, which is more than any other county in the UK. 2927 Ukrainian guests have already arrived and a further 944 are still expected, with approximately 2-3 new arrivals every day.
Leader of Kent County Council, Roger Gough, said “The response from Kent residents to the plight of the Ukrainian people fleeing their homes has been incredible. I feel that increasing the monthly payment to hosts is only right and fair, given the huge part they have played in this humanitarian effort.
“I hope that this extra payment to people who have so generously opened their homes to Ukrainian guests will give some reassurance in these financially challenging times.
“I know that many of our hosts want to be able to continue to support their guests beyond the initial 6 months of the scheme but are finding it difficult to do so considering the cost-of-living pressures. I hope that this move will not only reassure current hosts, but also encourage more people in the county to sign up to the scheme. More Ukrainian guests are arriving every day, and more homes are desperately needed.
“Unfortunately, we do not have enough new hosts to cope with the ongoing demand. We are increasing payments to thank people, to recognise the increased cost of living, to encourage more hosts to come forward but also to incentivise people to return to hosting, if they stopped because of financial hardship or concerns about increased household costs in the months ahead.”
Many of Kent’s hosts are providing homes for more than one person, to support these households KCC is proposing to increase payments for everyone hosting but the amount people will receive will increase based on the number of guests they are hosting.
KCC’s Homes for Ukraine scheme already takes into consideration increases based on household size. This means if you host more people, you get more money.
The below table shows the new increase in the monthly ‘thank you’ payment amounts based on the number of guests accommodated.
|Household size||New monthly thank you payment|
|1 person||£50 extra per month|
|2 people||£150 extra per month|
|3 people||£250 extra per month|
|4 people||£350 extra per month|
|5 people||£450 extra per month|
|6 people||£550 extra per month|
|7 + people||£650 extra per month|
KCC’s Homes for Ukraine support workers will continue to carry out visits throughout the winter months to ensure that all is well between hosts and their guests. We are constantly in touch with all hosts and are encouraging them to flag up any concerns that they have or additional support that they might need during this time.
Additional information can be found on our website, including information in Ukrainian and Russian, which can be found here https://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/support-for-ukrainian-nationals
We urgently need more host families. If anyone is interested in becoming a host, or wishes to host again – we would love to hear from you. Please email us at email@example.com or call 03000 412424.