Decision Maker: Director of Environment and Community Services
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The report approved a funding package consisting of grant funding to sponsors (people offering a home to people fleeing Ukraine) and grant funding to guests (people fleeing Ukraine) living in Middlesbrough.
After the report, we are now nearing the end of the initial 6-month period and some hosts are struggling to maintain their guests during the current challenging financial environment. This top up payment is fully funded via the Homes for Ukraine grant, and it is being implemented in other areas of the country to support sponsors and ensure guests remain with their hosts.
To support sponsors with the current cost of living crisis we will provide an optional top-up payment depending on the size of the household.
The Top Up payment scheme is designed to encourage hosts to continue sponsorship of their guests beyond the initial 6-month period and help the guests transition into independent accommodation.
Once sponsors have been hosting (a) guest(s) for 6 consecutive months then they become eligible to apply for a top-up payment that will remain available until the end of March 2023.
The top-up payment will be proportional to the size of the Ukrainian group that is staying with the Sponsor.
• Ukrainian guest group – 1 person £150/month from Month 7 top-up payment to Month 12
• Ukrainian guest group - 2 people £250/month from Month 7 top-up payment to Month 12
• Ukrainian guest group – 3+ people £350/month from Month 7 top-up payment to Month 12
This will be a separate payment once a month in addition to the £350 monthly thank-you payment. It will be two separate payments. It is a host’s responsibility, prior to accepting the optional top-up payment, to ensure there is no impact on any benefit entitlements or tax affairs.
If the guest group were in multiple sponsorship households, then only one bonus payment of £500 would be payable. I.e., A Family that is currently split between multiple sponsorship households. Similarly, if the group consists of multiple people (I.e., Two friends or a mother and child), only one bonus payment of £500 would be payable
If sponsors cannot afford to keep guests in their properties, the Ukraine families will become homeless, and the Local Authority will have a statutory duty to rehome them.
The grant funding provided to the Local Authority allows for top up payments to support sponsors and this amendment will provide consistency for guests, reduce disruption to schooling etc. and prevent homelessness.
The Council could opt not to provide the top up payment and deal with families via the homeless route
Publication date: 16/11/2022
Date of decision: 15/11/2022