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Ukraine response

FAQs about the Ukraine response

We understand that you may have questions about the support offered to those fleeing the war in Ukraine. This page aims to answer those questions, and we will add new questions when they're asked. If you have a question which is not covered here, email us at and we'll do our best to answer.

Will the council match me to someone arriving from Ukraine?


No. We do not work on the matching process for those who are yet to arrive in the country. However, we may be able to help with a re-match if a sponsorship agreement ends for any reason.

What will happen once I have matched with someone and applied for a visa?


Once your visa application is submitted, the government will let us know. A member of our team will contact you and arrange to visit your home, along with an Environmental Health Officer, to check it's suitable. We will also complete a DBS (criminal record) check for you at that point.

What does the property check involve?


We'll make sure that your property will not be overcrowded if more people live there, and that it is safe and habitable. We will also look for smoke alarms and a gas safety certificate. If you do not have these, we can help you to get them.

What does the council do to support those arriving from Ukraine?


We are working in partnership with grassroots organisations, voluntary sector, statutory, and non-statutory partners to make sure those arriving from Ukraine, and their hosts, are supported. This includes offering a weekly drop-in session, developing English language classes, communicating directly with the Jobcentre, and working with other teams like education and children's services / adult social care if necessary.

The North East Migration Partnership keeps us up to date with policy changes. We're also in regular contact with other local authorities to share best practice and adapt our offer if needed.

We're always keen to hear from you if you feel there is more we could or should do. You can email any feedback or suggestions to

What will happen once my guests have arrived?


We'd appreciate it if you could let us know as far in advance as possible when your guest is due to arrive. A member of our team will come to your property to meet your guests and give them with a letter to access their £200 per person from the South Tees Community Bank. They can also pick up a £50 Love2Shop voucher from Middlesbrough House.

We will work with you, as your guest's host, to make sure they:

  • apply for Universal Credit, which will also trigger applications for Child Benefit (if relevant) and a National Insurance number
  • open a bank account
  • register with a GP
  • register their children for school

If there's anything else you or your guest need support with, we'll do our best to help or point you in the right direction.

Please remember that both you and your guest will need time to adjust to each other, and to a new way of living. Take things slowly and don't expect too much of each other. We have a guide to mental health support which is updated regularly.

When will I get my 'thank you' payment?


The government has offered all hosts an optional 'thank you' payment of £350 per month. Once all your checks (housing and DBS) are completed, and your guest has arrived, we'll speak to them to make sure that no rent is charged. You'll then sign a sponsorship form, which will trigger the release of your payments. The payments are paid in arrears, which means you won't receive your first payment until one month after your guest arrives (if all of your checks have been completed). The 'thank you' payments will be in place until your guest leaves, or for up to 12 months, whichever is sooner.

What am I expected to provide for my guests?


Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, you are not allowed to charge your guest rent. However, the government only expects you to provide rent-free accommodation. You can ask for contributions towards things like food shopping if you eat together, or your utility (gas, electric, water) bills.

I rent my home, am I allowed to take part in the scheme?


We've found that the majority of landlords have been happy for their tenants to take part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme. However, we advise that you speak to your landlord before signing up.

Will I still be entitled to single person discount on my Council Tax?


The government has made sure that single person Council Tax discount is not affected, to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

What if things don’t go well - where can I go for help?


By signing up to Homes for Ukraine, you agree to sponsor someone for between six months and a year. But we understand that this is not always possible. If you want to end your sponsorship at any point, please speak with your guests as soon as possible, and let us know as well. This will give us the chance to try and find a suitable solution for everyone.

We'll also contact you once you have sponsored for four months to find out if you intend to continue the sponsorship arrangement after six months. If not, we'll speak to the Housing Solutions team. They will contact your guest to carry out a homelessness assessment, as well as making sure they have the relevant priority banding (which is needed for them to be eligible for housing). Housing Solutions will talk to your guest about affordability, location, and their expectations of new housing.