Would you like to host a guest from Ukraine

The war in Ukraine is ongoing and Ukrainian families still need our support. The UK Homes for Ukraine programme started in March 2022, with households in Kingston opening their homes to people fleeing Ukraine. Over 160 households in the borough have stepped forward and are accommodating guests and we are so grateful for their support. All hosts receive a monthly £350 ‘thank you payment’ (for the first 6 months).

If you are interested in becoming a host, please read on to find out about the steps you can take and please continue to check this webpage for further updates or email ukraine@kingston.gov.uk with any questions.

What you need to know before becoming a host

The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames are extremely grateful for your interest in hosting a family or individual from Ukraine. There are lots of things to consider before becoming a host. Please read through the details and links on this page to help decide whether this is the right option for you. Kingston Council will be there to support you and your guests throughout the hosting arrangement.

Key Terms

  • Hosts or Sponsors: People opening up their homes to refugees
  • Guests also referred to as “newcomers’ or “refugees”: The people we are welcoming from Ukraine. Although they are refugees by definition, they will not have refugee status in the UK.

What is required to become a host?

In order to become a host, you will need to ensure that your property is appropriate to welcome guests from Ukraine. Here is a short list of things that you will need to do and provide.

  • 6 months accommodation for which you cannot charge rent
  • Separate bedroom(s).
  • Freedom of movement so the guest is not restricted to a small section of the home
  • Providing support and guidance to your guests​
  • Registering for benefits and bank accounts at your address ​
  • Interacting with your local authority

It is important to remember that everyone is different and that hosting should be approached with an open mind. We want to help Ukrainian individuals and families to feel settled in our borough by making them feel welcomed and supported. 

To make the six months of hosting successful, it is important to be aware of what options are available for guests once the hosting has come to an end and prepare for this from early on.

For more guidance on being a sponsor, please visit the gov.uk website

Useful links and information from RESET:

You can find find further guidance and support for hosts on our website

Two ways to become a host under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme: 

There are two ways you can become a ‘Host’ for a person or family from Ukraine as part of the Homes for Ukraine programme. The first way is to join the national Homes for Ukraine scheme directly where you will host someone who is not yet in the UK (detailed below). 

The second way is to host a Ukrainian or Ukrainian family who has already arrived in Kingston but cannot stay with their original host (become a ‘Rematch Host’ - through this you will meet potential guests before agreeing to host them, detailed below). Kingston Council is currently actively looking for rematch hosts in the borough, please see the details below for further information and to offer your support.  

  1. Becoming a host directly through the national Homes for Ukraine Scheme

The process:

  1. Decide you want to get involved
  2. Record your interest at GOV.UK.
  3. Await notification of matching.
  4. Local authority checks
  5. Sponsor and guest to arrange transport
  6. Minimum of 6 months hosting

2. Becoming a host for the Homes for Ukraine Scheme as a ‘Rematch Host’ 

How to become a rematch host in Kingston

Rematching is for Ukrainians who have already arrived in Kingston but whose arrangements with their current host have ended (or could not take place at all). Guests under this option are already in Kingston (or are being housed near Kingston) while we try to find a new host for them. Some guests have already stayed with a host family for 6 months and now need a new family for the second 6 months. 

Some guests have children who are already in a Kingston school and we are doing all we can to try and find host families who can accommodate them so that the children have continuity in their schooling at this difficult time. 

If you would like to become a host and would like the council to match you with a Ukrainian family or person already in Kingston, please email ukraine@kingston.gov.uk to be put on our rematching list. You will be asked to complete a ‘Rematching Profile’ and will be invited to meet any potential guests before a rematch is confirmed. 

If you know of a Ukrainian family who are already on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme that you would like to host as a ‘rematch host’, please contact ukraine@kingston.gov.uk for council checks to be arranged and the rematch to be formalised.

If you are interested in hosting as a rematch host, please contact the council at ukraine@kingston.gov.uk who can match you with guests on the rematching waiting list.

Find out more about rematching

Host Support

We are very pleased to let you know that Kingston Council is providing free memberships to ‘Hold for Hosts’ through Refugee Host Support, a service designed to support you to succeed in your important role as a Host. 

This membership is a wrap around support service that offers advice, counselling and access to exclusive training modules designed for hosts. 

Please email ukraine@kingston.gov.uk if you would like to take up this support offer and we will send you a registration code  to access this support.

Things to consider when getting to know a potential guest:

Building Relationships Before You Apply for a Visa

Hear from people already hosting in Kingston

This section will be updated with stories and comments from Kingston residents who are already hosting under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Please check back for more details.

Events:

This page will be regularly updated with upcoming online and in-person events for hosts.

Contact us:

For urgent queries only you call the contact centre on: 0208 8547 5000 9am-5pm Mon-Fri (or during out-of hours 020 8547 5800) and a message can be left for the Ukraine Arrivals & Queries Team.

For any queries for our Housing Options Service, please call 020 8547 5003 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. If you have any urgent out of hours housing issues, such as homelessness, please call 020 8770 5000.

In an emergency, please dial 999.

Last Modified: 26/01/2023 10:52:16