Refugee households face homelessness after coming to Dacorum

New figures show almost a dozen Ukrainian refugee households have faced homelessness after arriving in Dacorum.

By Will Grimond, Data Reporter
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:49 am

Nearly a dozen Ukrainian refugee households faced homelessness after arriving in Dacorum, according to new figures.

But Dacorum Borough Council says that it is providing help and access to accommodation for Ukrainian people who have arrived in the borough.

Ukrainians fleeing the Russian conflict can apply for visas to stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

Sign up to our daily Hemel Today newsletter

Ukrainian nationals to stay with relatives already living in the UK through the Family Scheme.

The Family Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals to stay with relatives already living in the UK, and the Sponsorship Scheme allows individuals to host refugees for a minimum of six months.

But the schemes have been affected by delays in processing visas – and some have warned of safeguarding issues and mismatches between hosts and refugees.

Home Office data shows 10 refugee households in Dacorum were homeless or at risk of homelessness as of June 3 – including two households with children.

A spokesperson for the Dacorum Borough Council explained: “As of June 20 a total of 174 visas have been approved for Ukrainian nationals within the Dacorum area, 124 accommodation checks have been undertaken to ensure that properties that households are joining are suitable for their needs.

“Where a property is identified as unsuitable, we liaise with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) to ensure that households can be re-matched to alternative sponsors.”

The council says that it is working in partnership with HCC, the voluntary sector and the East of England migration team to “ensure cohesive planning and wrap-around support is provided to refugee households”.

Read More

Read More
9-year-old Britain’s Got Talent busker set to perform at Tring’s Chilfest

The statement continued: “Where a refugee household finds themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness, we are providing proactive help, advice, support to access accommodation and/or temporary accommodation in line with the amended legislative framework and Code of Guidance.”

The figures show all of these households faced homelessness after the arrangement with their hosts broke down.

According to the data, one household's homelessness duties have since ended as of June 3.

Shadow levelling up and housing secretary Lisa Nandy described the situation as “shameful”.

“The British people showed amazing generosity in stepping up in their thousands to provide the care and sanctuary that these people – many of them families with young children – needed and deserved in such awful circumstances. But the Government has failed miserably to play its part.

“Ministers were warned about the risk of refugees becoming homeless on the day they launched the sponsorship scheme, but they were more interested in grandstanding in television studios than doing their jobs to protect vulnerable people.”

In Dacorum, 247 visas had been issued as of June 14, and 174 refugees due to stay with sponsors in the area had arrived in the UK.

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “All arrivals have access to benefits and public services, as well as the right to work or study, from the day they arrive.

“The overwhelming majority of people are settling in well but in the minority of cases where family or sponsor relationships break down, councils have a duty to ensure families are not left without a roof over their head.

“Councils also have access to a rematching service to find a new sponsor in cases under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.”