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National Audit Office report on Homes for Ukraine scheme


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The National Audit Office has today published a report ‘Investigation into the Homes for Ukraine scheme’, looking at what has been achieved to date, for what cost and what can be learned from the scheme. As indicated, the report looks only at the Home for Ukraine scheme and it does not make recommendations but does set out some key findings. Homelessness is a growing concern, as set out in the press release:

Homelessness data is incomplete, but up until 31 August 2023, 4,890 households (8% of total estimated households that had arrived on the scheme in England at that time) have been assessed by a local authority as being at risk of homelessness or being homeless. This likely understates the true picture, as approximately one third of local authorities are not providing homelessness data to DLUHC and the risk of homelessness is likely to increase, as sponsorships end.

Although safeguarding is recognised by the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing as one of the biggest potential risks of the scheme, the department “does not know the true number of safeguarding checks that were failed”. The report also states that there is ongoing uncertainty in relation to funding for the scheme and also for the people granted leave at the current end of the scheme in 2025.

Overall, there is much that the government can be commended for in the implementation of the scheme but the issues around homelessness and safeguarding are serious and the lack of data concerning.

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Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.