North Yorkshire Council has been awarded £830,715 by the government to support Ukrainian refugees living in the county move into their own homes.
Ukrainian families fleeing war have found places to live through the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme with UK sponsors agreeing to house refugees for a minimum of six months.
However, there have been concerns that if it doesn’t work out between refugees and host families some may fall into homelessness, so the government is offering all local authorities money through its Homelessness Prevention Grant (HPG).
The council’s Conservative executive member for culture, arts and housing, Cllr Simon Myers, welcomed the grant in a statement to councillors ahead of a meeting next week.
Cllr Myers said: “We welcome the additional funding which recognises the commitment of sponsors and the work we have already been doing during difficult economic times and will provide additional support and reassurance to Ukrainian families as they rebuild their lives and seek to overcome the trauma of war.”
According to NYC, there have been 1,336 arrivals to North Yorkshire since the start of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
This includes 49 refugees who arrived between April and the end June this year.
The number of people still living with a sponsor is 616 and there has been 720 who initially arrived in North Yorkshire but have moved on from their sponsors’ accommodation.
A total of 371 of these have moved onto private rented accommodation and 172 have moved back to Ukraine.
The council said 47 have moved on to another sponsor family outside of North Yorkshire.
Over the winter, the council increased the ‘thank you’ payments for sponsors from £350 to £500 a month and this will be extended until October 2023 when it will again be reviewed.
To help new arrivals settle in, the council also has two dedicated employment advisors who work with Ukrainian residents to help them find training and apply for jobs.
Nationally, more than 117,000 Ukrainians have moved to the UK through the resettlement scheme.