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Charity hopes to rehome 100 Ukrainian families

[Press center6] time:2023-05-30 19:56:33 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center5 click:33order

A charity has been set up with the aim of helping 100 Ukrainian families find a home after they leave their UK hosts.

Nadiya, based in Milton Keynes, will loan up to three months' rent and hoped to find landlords to house families.

Refugees came to Britain under the UK government's Homes for Ukraine scheme, but either the sponsorship has ended or they want a more permanent home.

Charity co-founder Derek Edwards said there was a "crisis coming" with potentially homeless Ukrainians.

Under the government scheme, UK sponsors agree to house Ukrainians for a minimum of six months.

Mr Edwards said refugees risk becoming homeless as their stays with host families come to an end and that was "happening to more and more Ukrainians"

"It's very hard for local authorities... that's why we have stepped in," he said.

He said the charity would run a trial with 100 Ukrainian families over the next six months and if successful it aimed to rehome 500 families in the following year.

Mr Edwards said: "The hardest thing for Ukrainians is they have no credit history in the UK.

"If we can get them into rental accommodation, they can start to get a credit history and make their lives in Britain so much better."

He said the charity would pay three months' rent "but that money will be repaid" either through income, housing benefit or a combination of both.

"We won't put any strain on the Ukrainians," he said, adding the charity would increase the time to pay back the money if the families' income dropped.

He said the scheme would cost £328,000 but the charity hoped to get most of the money back.

The charity would also be at Centre: MK shopping centre in the Buckinghamshire city to encourage private landlords and agents to take in families and find sponsors for those still in Ukraine.

A government spokesperson it had provided councils with funding to help house Ukrainians outside of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, including £150m "to support Ukrainian guests to move into their own homes, as well as £500m to acquire housing for those fleeing conflict"."All Ukrainian arrivals can work or study and access benefits from day one and we have increased 'thank you' payments for sponsors to £500 a month once a guest has been here for a year," they added.

Viktoriia Dyachenko is one of the those that has been helped by the charity.

She left Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine for Bedfordshire last year with her 12-year-old son Daniel.

"I had to leave my parents, my city, my home because it was dangerous for us," she said.

Ms Dyachenko said her hosts, who she stayed with for nine months, were "very nice, a wonderful family, very caring".

She now has her own home in Cranfield near Bedford.

"[They] helped us adapt to Britain, helped me find a job and helped my son with school; we were very grateful to them," she said.

The Ukrainian refugee said it had become "enough for them and for us; we need to move forward, [to have] independence and a usual life".

She said she was "worried about [finding a] place and money", but was put in touch with Nadiya by other Ukrainians based in Milton Keynes.

The charity helped her find a home for her and her son, without which she said life would have been a "nightmare".

"We are very grateful, it's a very big deal for us."It's our lives; it's our future; now we are like a family; we are very happy together," she added.

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(editor-in-charge:Press center8)

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