Homes for Ukraine Scheme Northern Ireland: How to apply for the Homes for Ukraine Scheme and who can be a host
People in Northern Ireland will soon be able to offer a room in their home to Ukrainian refugees through a government scheme.
As the war in Ukraine enters its third week, more than 2.5 million people are estimated to have fled the country, according to the UN.
It has been described as “the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two” by UN high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi.
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Here's everything you need to know about the scheme and how you can help Ukrainian refugees in Northern Ireland.
What is the Homes for Ukraine scheme?
The Homes for Ukraine scheme launches on Monday, March 14, with the UK Government expecting to welcome the first Ukrainians from next week.
The idea behind it, is that eligible households in the UK will offer up a spare room, or property for refugees fleeing Ukraine to use rent-free.
Depending on the space available, this can be for an individual or a family.
Anyone applying to the scheme must commit to it for six months and will receive payments from the government of £350 per month.
The scheme is open to individuals, charities and community groups across the UK, who are able to provide accommodation.
Refugees can stay in the UK for up to 12 months and those offering accommodation will need to agree to do so for a minimum of six months.
All offers of accommodation will go through a vetting process to ensure the safety of Ukrainians.
There will be no limit on numbers for this scheme, with the Home Office being responsible for matching refugees to sponsors.
Applications for the scheme opened yesterday, people can register their interest for the scheme here.
So far, more than 88,000 people have signed up to the scheme.
Who can be a host?
If you have a spare room in your home you can apply to be a host.
As well as individual hosts, charities, community groups and housing associations can also apply.
Those applying will need to be vetted before being approved for the scheme and refugee applicants will undergo a security screening.
The first successful applicants for the scheme are expected to begin arriving in the UK next week.
An online portal is expected to launch on Monday, March 14, where anyone expressing interest can register.
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