More refugees due in Cotswolds despite warnings of families becoming homeless

MORE refugees due to stay with sponsors in the Cotswolds had arrived in the UK as of last week, according to new figures.

This comes as charities warn of rising numbers of homeless refugees across England.

Ukrainians fleeing the conflict with Russia can apply for a visa to stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

The Family Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals to stay with relatives already living in the UK and the Sponsorship Scheme allows individuals to host refugees for a minimum of six months.

But the schemes have been beset with delays, safeguarding issues and mismatches between hosts and refugees.

Home Office data shows 141 refugees staying with sponsors in the Cotswolds under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme had arrived in the UK by June 13 – up from 88 on May 16.

There has also been an increase in the number of visas issued, with 200 successful applications as of June 14, a rise on the 163 four weeks prior.

The uptick in refugee arrivals has come with warnings of refugees being made homeless in some areas of England – although there were no homeless refugee households in the Cotswolds.

Shadow levelling up and housing secretary Lisa Nandy described the situation as “shameful”.

“The British people showed amazing generosity in stepping up in their thousands to provide the care and sanctuary that these people needed and deserved,” she said.

Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, a group which campaigns for those fleeing conflict, said there were worrying differences in the two schemes.

 “We’re concerned that Ukrainians arriving on family visas are running into problems as not all relatives will have the space or the resources to support their family members.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “All arrivals have access to benefits and public services, as well as the right to work or study from the day they arrive.

“The overwhelming majority of people are settling in well but in the minority of cases where family or sponsor relationships break down, councils have a duty to ensure families are not left without a roof over their head.”

 

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