Martin Ford 01 April 2022

Councils to fund housing for homeless refugees

Councils to fund housing for homeless refugees  image
Image: Gabriel Preda RO / Shutterstock.com.

Councils will have to pick up the bill for accommodating homeless Ukrainian refugees from their own budgets, a minister has said.

Latest figures from the Local Government Association found 144 Ukrainian refugees have presented to councils in England as homeless so far.

Shadow communities spokesperson Baroness Hayman pressed refugees minister Lord Harrington on what was being done for those who ‘urgently need housing’.

He suggested they may have entered the country on family visas due having relatives already in the UK.

Unlike the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, for refugees arriving on family visas there was no requirement that ‘the accommodation being offered is suitable’.

Lord Harrington added: ‘It is the responsibility of local authorities to deal with them. It is not acceptable.

‘Of course, they have the money to deal with homeless people, but they should not be homeless because they are on a family scheme.’

Earlier this week, Lord Harrington confirmed to MPs that councils receive no funding to support refugees arriving on family visas.

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