Applications to open for Northern Ireland residents to host Ukrainians - households offered £350 per month to take part

Applications are set to open later for Northern Ireland residents to host Ukrainian refugees.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 14th March 2022, 10:25 am

It is part of a UK-wide scheme to receive those fleeing the Russian invasion.

Households will be offered £350 per month to take part.

The Executive Office has strongly encouraged expressions of interest, and these can be made through an online portal due to open on Monday.

Children and their companions from an orphanage in Odesa, Ukraine, wait for room allocation after their arrival at a hotel in Berlin, Friday, March 4, 2022 s)

A spokesman said officials are working at pace to be ready to offer sanctuary.

“While not all the details have yet been announced by Westminster, we are working at pace, making preparations so we stand ready to provide sanctuary to Ukrainian refugees,” the spokesman said.

“Mindful of the pressure on social housing stock, officials are also engaging with councils and the voluntary and community sector to find creative ways of bringing suitable accommodation into use and identifying all available capacity.”

The spokesman said the department is in close contact with the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing and with colleagues in other jurisdictions.

“We will participate fully in this humanitarian effort. Partnership across sectors and wider society will be key to ensuring we can support as many Ukrainian people seeking sanctuary here as possible.”

Concern had been expressed over Northern Ireland’s contribution to the Ukraine response in the absence of a First and deputy First Minister in office to lead the effort.

Paul Givan resigned earlier this year as part of the DUP’s action against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Patrick Corrigan, of Amnesty International, said: “I am concerned that the absence of a First Minister and deputy First Minister, who have lead responsibility for refugee matters, has led to Northern Ireland being left behind when it comes to playing our part in offering a welcome to refugees from Ukraine.”

Irish premier Micheal Martin said at the weekend that Ireland has so far accepted 5,500 Ukrainian refugees, and may take in more than 100,000.