"Hundreds of Ukrainian families have been left homeless in England after arriving on visas designed to secure them a place to live, official figures reveal.
Since the end of February, at least 480 Ukrainian families with children and 180 single adults have applied to councils for help with homelessness.
Despite the government insisting that the Homes for Ukraine and family visa schemes would ensure that refugees had housing, both are leaving people struggling when arrangements break down.
The data exposes the cracks already appearing in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, with 145 placements having ended in homelessness by 3 June. Of these, 90 ended because the arrangement broke down and a further 55 never got off the ground properly because the accommodation was unavailable or unsuitable on arrival.
Lauren Scott, executive director of Refugees at Home, said: “We are frustrated and saddened but not surprised to see placements start to break down. Expecting vulnerable, traumatised refugees to rely on the goodwill of strangers they have met on Facebook was always a risk.
“We urgently need a joined-up national fallback plan to help families whose placements go wrong. Across the country there is no consistent approach to rematching guests with new hosts, no standard way for Ukrainians to change their visa sponsors, and no single mechanism for moving funding from one host to another.”
Many local authorities are treating Ukrainian families as homeless rather than attempting to rematch them with new hosts, leaving them in hostels and hotels, just as happened with Afghan refugees.
Of the 145 failed Homes for Ukraine placements, only 20 were rematched with a new host.
Scott said: “It is a nightmare situation – the very one that we had hoped to avoid.”
Not a good outcome, as the numbers of placement breakdowns are increasing.🙁
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