When it’s time for your guests to leave you, they may ask you for guidance on what to do next. It’s always good to have conversations around ending your support early on. You may have followed our guidance on how to plan for the end of your support but still need some more practical support on the next steps.
Below, you’ll find information to support your guests moving on depending on the current situation.
The first thing you can do as host is to help your guests understand housing market in your area and challenges they may face when looking for an independent property. Simply going to websites like Zoopla или Rightmove to look at properties available for rent will give your guests an idea as to what is realistic and how much an independent property might cost. Note that your guests may not realise how expensive properties are in the UK. It may be worth encouraging your guests to keep an open mind as to what their first accommodation after hosting may look like. It may be that they are only able to afford to rent a room, or to jointly rent out a flat or a house with someone else they know.
If you’re guests are in a situation where they know they will be financially stable to pay for rent but cannot afford to pay the initial deposits required to move in, the first step is to talk to your local authority.
It may be that your guests are finding it hard to find a landlord who accepts them as tenants. If for any reason you think that this is discriminatory behaviour, you can direct them to advice on how to make a complaint.
For many landlords and letting agencies, its obligatory to have a guarantor on the rental contract if they do not have sufficient credit history in the UK. In most cases, your guests won’t have access to an eligible guarantor. Of course, you can be their guarantor, but it’s important that you make an informed decision before you offer this.
In Community Sponsorship (another project we are involved with) – volunteers are often successful in finding properties for refugee families they support by approaching local landlords directly (rather than looking for properties via estate agents). You can learn more about how they approach this здесь.
Some Local Authorities are starting to offer to look for another sponsor in their area for Ukrainian guests who aren’t able to find their own accommodation. This option very much depends on your Local Authority – in some areas there might be more hosts than in others. Your guests could also find another sponsor themselves. This could be approaching people they already know locally, approaching local host groups and networks or seeing if the local authority could help.
We know that some guests might have heard about council housing as an option for them to find affordable long-term accommodation. Unfortunately, in nearly all areas of the UK this will not be possible. Most local authorities across the UK already have waiting lists going into years. If your guests ask about council housing in your local area it may be worth directing them to the Local Authority’s website so that they can find out for themselves how things look like locally.
In the worst-case scenario, your guests can also declare themselves as homeless to your local authority. By law, your local authority will carry out an assessment to check if your guests are eligible for emergency housing. You can contact your local authority за 8 тижнів if you know that your guests will be facing homelessness. To find out more, ви можете прочитати керівництво Shelter UK.
Universal Credit and other benefits in the UK can be confusing to navigate. Your local authority should be able to help your guests apply for the right benefits when they leave your home. They’ll be eligible for housing component of Universal Credit, but keep in mind that there is a cap on amount of benefits a household out of work can receive.
It may be that your guests have the means to move out but are nervous about the cost of living. You can look through our cost of living resource, which is also available in Ukrainian и Russian to help them understand the cost of living in the UK once they are independent.
It may be that your area is too expensive for them, but other areas nearby are more affordable.
They may also be eligible for support for utility bills, which you can find more about here.