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Hundreds of Ukraine refugees left homeless after placements break down.

(20 Posts)
DiamondLily Mon 27-Jun-22 08:37:52

"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.🙁

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 27-Jun-22 08:47:35

There’s another thread which highlights some of the problems hosts are experiencing.

FannyCornforth Mon 27-Jun-22 08:59:11


There’s another thread which highlights some of the problems hosts are experiencing.

I can’t find it

It was bound to happen, wasn’t it.
There was a chap on the radio the other day.
He was in his forties and quite recently widowed.
He was homing two young Ukrainian women.
Without going into details, it didn’t sound ideal.

CaravanSerai Mon 27-Jun-22 09:09:40

At the start of this,our local refugee action centre did a TV interview urging people who wanted to help to go through proper channels like theirs. They reminded us that they still have refugees from Afghanistan in B&Bs waiting for a home.

Beautful Mon 27-Jun-22 10:09:08

How sad ... saying that doesn't surprise me in the least ... hard for people to open their homes up ... although I do admire people who have & continue to do so ... but bringing people in, unless you have a separate lounge ... in case you or the family want their own time as we all do at times ... personally think people rushed in to help, which was extremely good of them, but didn't realise the long term impact of it ... saying that I haven't opened my home up , although have helped in other ways

Calendargirl Mon 27-Jun-22 10:20:43

The other thread was about dressing gown wearing all day.

Without wishing to say ‘I knew this would happen’, well, I did.

A huge commitment having strangers, which they are, from a war torn country, coming to live with you in your home, for at least six months.

Far too many people would leap in, with the best of intentions, without thinking things through, and then wonder why it all goes badly wrong.

maddyone Mon 27-Jun-22 10:28:03

I think that unless you have separate bedrooms, bathroom, and sitting room areas, then it’s highly likely that it won’t work. We have spare bedrooms but not a spare area that could be used as a sitting area and therefore we didn’t offer to help in this way. I suspected it wouldn’t work. I admire people who have offered but it did need to be considered carefully.

FannyCornforth Mon 27-Jun-22 10:32:50

Thanks CalendarGirl!
I didn’t automatically leap to the understanding that the over punctuated ‘dressing gown’ thread in AIBU was a sensible discussion about refugees 🤦‍♀️

Doodledog Mon 27-Jun-22 10:59:24


I think that unless you have separate bedrooms, bathroom, and sitting room areas, then it’s highly likely that it won’t work. We have spare bedrooms but not a spare area that could be used as a sitting area and therefore we didn’t offer to help in this way. I suspected it wouldn’t work. I admire people who have offered but it did need to be considered carefully.

Exactly this. At first I thought it would be the least we could do to take in desperate people, but as you say, there is the question of space. I would wish I had the spare bedrooms back for my family at Christmas, but could have worked around that, if we had a separate space that would mean that we weren't always finding people using the bathroom/washing machine/oven when we wanted to.

A cursory glance at posts on here about grans and DILs who have conflicting ideas about child-rearing shows that even within families there can be difficulties on that score. Bringing in people from a different culture, whose menfolk are fighting or worse, who are separated from other relatives, who may have limited English, and then living in close proximity with them is likely to lead to massive resentments and clashes on both sides.

The big thing though, is the fact that these people are traumatised, and we are not trained to deal with that. I have every respect for those who are making it work, but I am please I let my head rule my heart.

FannyCornforth Mon 27-Jun-22 11:13:49

Your final paragraph is bang on.
I’m fortunate to that I haven’t got any space whatsoever; so the dilemma never arose.
Had it done so, I would have been wracked with concerns as to what to do for the best.
If I lived in a large property I think that I would have considered it my moral duty; maybe even a sort of ‘calling’.

nanna8 Mon 27-Jun-22 11:29:23

Can’t they build something like the post war prefabs so people have their own space and privacy whilst they have to be away from their homeland? It is hard enough having other family members living in your house without cross cultural issues and trauma which will be a feature of most refugees. The government should do more to help.

FannyCornforth Mon 27-Jun-22 11:35:21

I remember there was talk of repurposing army barracks nanna8
But with this lot, there’s always lots of talk.
You’d definitely want to be with others in the same situation, who speak your language; not beholden to a stranger in their home.
It must be terribly uncomfortable for many of the refugees.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 27-Jun-22 11:38:13

It’s not as easy as you make it sound. Not only acquiring suitable land (where?), which would be neither quick nor cheap, but building roads, drainage and other infrastructure - a massive expense and such developments would turn into ghettos. The government is already doing a lot in supplying weapons etc to Ukraine.

monk08 Mon 27-Jun-22 12:44:13

I know a widow who has taken in a family only to be told the mother a doctor is going back in 3wks. Leaving husband and 2 teenagers behind this person is not at all happy, not what she signed up for.

Sparklefizz Mon 27-Jun-22 13:33:41

Someone in my area took in a mother and 2 children, who were similar ages to her own children, thinking they'd be company for each other, but she has had to ask for the family to be rehoused.

There are major cultural differences in the way the children are brought up to behave. The mother smacks her children often, sometimes slapping a child's face, and the children's behaviour is rubbing off on her own children which is undesirable.

It has all gone horribly wrong.

DiamondLily Mon 27-Jun-22 15:33:14

I think people rushed into this with the best of intentions, and not enough thought, as many placements are breaking down.

It's stressful enough living with family/friends - taking in strangers is just more aggravation.

There are cultural differences, language problems, war traumas, personality clashes, and different levels of expectation.

Not every refugee is necessarily a nice person, nor is every host.

The money paid to hosts only lasts between 3-12 months, and then what?

We, in the South, have hotels and hostels full of homegrown homeless, those we bought over from Afghanistan, when Kabul fell, people arriving in dinghies every day, and now Ukraines.

Many are stuck in one room with children, which is not good for anyone.

The government needs to get a grip with all this.🙄

varian Mon 27-Jun-22 18:19:04

Our government's strategy of handing over the problem of Ukranian refugees to ordinary citizens and giving no support is an utter disgrace.

Sparklefizz Mon 27-Jun-22 18:23:56

The government needs to get a grip with all this.

I agree, but where can the Govt put all these people?

Fennel Mon 27-Jun-22 19:33:26

Why are the Ukranian refugees treated differently from others?
why aren't they entitled to housing benefit do that they can have their own place, and keep a bit of pride and indepence?
It's not a short term problem for them.

DiamondLily Tue 28-Jun-22 04:52:13

They can and do claim all benefits, as do the "accepted" refugees from Kabul/Afghanistan.

The problem in the South (and maybe elsewhere), is the lack of any housing, not lack of Housing Benefits.

Private landlords are becoming more reluctant to take on any tenants on benefits, social housing is full, and massive waiting lists, and house prices, to buy, are through the roof.