Last updated:

26th April 2024

Information for hosts (Homes for Ukraine)

How to host

If you want to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine, you can become a sponsor as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. There is an expectation those who express an interest will provide a room for a minimum of six months.

For full details of the scheme, and how to offer your support, visit Homes for Ukraine on GOV.UK.

A guide for sponsors is available on the UK Government website.

Safeguarding and Accommodation checks

Once you or your expected arrivals have completed the visa application and Wokingham BC receive notification we will arrange to carry out some checks with you. These are the standard checks required by central government. Our teams will be in touch to arrange these.

Full details of all eligibility, safeguarding, DBS and accommodation checks can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Accommodation checks

A member of the council will arrange to visit your property prior to any of your guests arriving.

GOV.UK has information on basic accommodation needs.

This is to ensure your home is safe for your guests and that it is in a suitable condition. We will carry out these checks in line with the Government guidance which asks accommodation is:

  • be kept clean and in a reasonable state
  • have adequate kitchen and bathroom space
  • have access to drinking water
  • have a working smoke detector on each floor of the property and other fire safety precautions suitable for the building such as fire doors or escape routes as appropriate
  • have a working carbon monoxide detector in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance such as a coal fire or wood burning stove
  • have sufficient heating to keep the property at a comfortable temperature
  • have safe gas appliances, fittings and flues and have undertaken a Gas Safety check within the last year (we will need to see certification)
  • have safe and working electrics, which a qualified electrician can help with if you are unsure
  • be almost entirely free of damp or mould
  • have doors and windows at entry level that lock properly
  • be easy and safe to move around in, without excessively steep staircases that may cause harm

Disclosure and Barring Service check

You will also be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, or an enhanced check if your incoming arrivals include children and/or vulnerable adults. This will apply to all persons in your household aged 16 or over.

When our staff make their initial visit, they will also be checking information we have on who you are expecting to arrive, to ensure it matches the information from central Government.

Disclosure application

When your Ukrainian guests arrive

In the UK

If you’re not able to meet your guest, give them instructions on how to get to you.

They are eligible for a single onward journey by national rail, light rail, bus and coach, free of charge to your destination anywhere in England. For more information see the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Travel Scheme.

The MyJourney Wokingham website highlights major stations and transport hubs as well as all bus and train stops.

In Wokingham

Please inform Wokingham Borough Council when your guest(s) have arrived with you via our online form.

A Wokingham Borough Council representative will visit your guests shortly after they arrive. This is to check that they arrived safely and that the accommodation they are living in is suitable.

Your guests will be given £200 per person, in cash, for essentials such and food and toiletries. They will be asked to sign for this.

If you have questions about local services that you want to access, you can ask the representative when they visit. They might not have the answer but will tell you who can help you.

You can also contact the council via our dedicated email address: You will receive a reply within 5 working days.

Applying for school

Go to our Ukraine support applying for school and Common questions on starting school webpages for details on how to apply and other key information.

Settling in

Guests will not be familiar with the area, so give advice on how to get from home to local shops or other important journeys. You should also direct them to local public services. Make sure they’re well set up with the basics, like food, toiletries, and devices to stay in touch with family and friends.

Ground rules

You may want to draw up ground rules with your guests. One route suggested by central Government is to agree ‘terms of occupation’.

There is guidance on sharing your home with a lodger, and whilst it is written for those living in rented homes, it also covers many of the points that any sponsor will want to think about.

Payments for Hosting

Wokingham BC will administer £350 or £500 ‘thank you’ payments from central government to the named host. These payments will start once all safeguarding checks have been completed following the arrival of your guests. Payment information will be collected by the Wokingham council representative during their safeguarding visit.

More details on how payments work for hosts can be found in the UK Government payment guide.

Please inform Wokingham Borough Council if there are any changes in your hosting arrangements via our online form.

After 6 months

At the end of your 6-month hosting period you will have several options. You can continue hosting (and receiving payments) for up to 12 months, or you can ask your guests to move-on. We will contact you shortly before your 6 months of hosting ends to confirm you are happy to continue.

If you wish to end your hosting at any time after 6 months, please let us know as soon as possible via our online form.

Support to help your guests find alternative accommodation is provided on our housing pages: Housing and tenants.

Further Support

Join the Facebook group for hosts

There’s been a Facebook group set up for host families in our area. It is called Support for Ukrainians in Wokingham and surrounding areas.

This was set up by local residents who are hosting through Homes for Ukraine to help share information. It’s also open to those families joining us from Ukraine.

Contact Us

Please remember you can contact the council via our dedicated email address for Refugees and Migrants: You will receive a reply within 5 working days.

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