The number of Ukrainian households who became homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless after arriving in England has doubled in just under two months, figures show.
More than 1,300 Ukrainian single-family households and families were assessed as homeless or at risk of homelessness between February 24 and July 29, the Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities said.
This represents an increase from 660 households as of June 3.
The figures cover arrivals under the Family scheme and the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme who have been or are currently on legal homelessness obligation by local authorities in England.
Almost a quarter of local councils (74) did not respond to the survey, so the figures do not reflect the scale of homelessness across the country.
Under the Family program, Ukrainians can join family members already in the UK, while Ukrainians without relatives living in the UK can be sponsored by a British host who is asked to provide accommodation for at least six months.
But hundreds of arrangements with family members or hosts have failed, or the accommodation is unsuitable or unavailable.
Of those who became homeless or were at risk of becoming homeless, the majority (71%) were families with dependent children.
Some 695 people had arrived under the family scheme, of whom 370 were indebted due to a breakdown of arrangement and 325 because accommodation was not available or suitable.
And 635 households had come to the UK after being sponsored.
This includes 425 due to a breakdown of arrangement, 95 whose accommodation was not available or suitable, 10 who rejected their sponsor’s offer and 105 who gave a different reason, or whose reason was not was not known.
The figures show that 90 households had their homelessness reduced or avoided through mediation, 90 through rematching and 190 due to a reason given as ‘other’.
Urgent joint work is needed both to be clearer to hosts and their guests about the challenges of finding affordable accommodation across the UK, and to seek solutions to urgent short-term housing needs. and long term.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned homelessness could increase as the initial six-month placements with hosts come to an end.
Councilor James Jamieson, LGA Chairman, said: “Councils, sponsors and Ukrainian guests all need to know what the options are as we get closer to the end of the initial six-month placement period so that they can start planning now.
“There is a significant risk that – even if rematching is available – many Ukrainian families will have to present themselves as homeless due to a lack of sponsors or other options.
“Urgent joint work is needed both to be clearer to hosts and their guests about the challenges of finding affordable accommodation across the UK, and to seek solutions to urgent housing needs in short and long term.”