Herefordshire is to spend up to £2.5 million helping Ukrainian refugees live in homes and rented housing in the county.

Herefordshire Council says the measures are “required urgently to support the resettlement of individuals and families” arriving through the Government’s Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, which will meet all the costs.

Half of the sum, capped at £1,225,000, has been allocated “for rent top-up and goodwill payments”, Herefordshire Council has said.

Local housing allowance rates, which form the basis of housing benefit and universal credit payments, “are well below market rent values in Herefordshire, meaning that it is often not financially viable for people to rent accommodation in the private rented sector”, the council explained.

“A rent top-up scheme mitigates this issue and makes a wider range of housing available.”


The proposed goodwill payments, meanwhile, are to help Ukrainian guests stay with sponsoring households, “where the sponsor is unable to continue due to issues of affordability”.

The council also expects to spend:

  • up to £548,000 for “tenancy support, income maximisation and support to access services”;
  • up to £300,000 for “estate agent and landlord incentive schemes” to bring forward more private rented accommodation;
  • up to £250,000 to help guests buy furniture, white goods, and other essential items when moving to a new property;
  • up to £130,000 to fund a “rent in advance” scheme, helping refugees overcome the problem of having to pay rent up-front, before they have secured any income;
  • up to £127,000 for “emergency accommodation” for guests having to leave home sponsorship arrangements at short notice.

Under the Government scheme, local sponsors are expected to provide guests with accommodation for up to 12 months, but for a minimum of six months.

Many such six-month arrangements, entered into following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, are now coming to an end.

Already 429 people have already arrived in Herefordshire through the scheme – including 159 children, 112 of whom have been placed in schools in the county.

With no end to the conflict in sight, “additional guests are expected to be confirmed for some time to come”, the council says.