1. Home
  2. Community
  3. Support for refugees in East Sussex
  4. Homes for Ukraine
  5. Hosting guests under the Homes for Ukraine scheme

Hosting guests under the Homes for Ukraine scheme

1. Overview

What is hosting?

Under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, UK residents provide accommodation to Ukrainians in their own homes (or in other properties they own).

Hosts are asked to allow guests to stay for 6 months, and longer if they can. In return, hosts can apply for a monthly “thank you” payment of £500 (£650 if you are hosting 5 or more guests). This will be paid to you direct by your local District or Borough Council.

Hosting aims to support Ukrainians and to help them build a life in East Sussex. We want them to feel safe to:

  • access language support, education and training
  • apply for benefits
  • register with a GP
  • secure school places for their children
  • start to develop social networks
  • look for work and plan their next steps.

Guests are all different and some will take longer than others to settle into life in the UK. Many guests move out of their hosts' home in 6-12 months, but this depends on them having an affordable home to move into and a steady job.

Once guests are matched to a suitable host and their visas are granted, arrangements can be made for them to travel to the UK and move in.

Hosts must complete some mandatory checks to ensure that their home is safe and make sure that they are a suitable host. These checks are carried out by local Councils in line with national Homes for Ukraine guidance.

Become a host

If you would like to become a host, there are some steps you will need to take:

  1. Register your interest
    Central Government manage this part of the process.

  2. Complete the mandatory checks
    We manage this, but you will need to provide information and complete some parts of the processes.

  3. Tell us your guests have arrived

  4. Apply for the monthly thank you payments

Registering with Homes for Ukraine scheme

These steps are done at a national government level.

This form gives us the information we need about you and your household which enables us to identify which checks need to be carried out.  Starting these checks early helps avoid delays later down the line.


  • We will contact you to arrange the background (DBS) checks and checks against databases we hold. You may need to provide proof of identification at this stage.
  • East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service will contact you to arrange a property visit.

We do ask that you co-operate with the checking process. We can then complete the checks, confirm your registration and let you apply for the monthly thank you payments as soon as possible.

If it is found you do not meet the requirements or you fail any checks, the guest will need to find another host. We will help them with this.

We always do our best to keep hosts informed throughout the process. If you ever have any questions or concerns please get in touch.

Welcoming your guests

As a sponsor, you’re here to support and help your guests to adapt to life in the UK.

Your guests will need you to share information with them about the area and help them to find places like:

  • local schools
  • doctors
  • dentists
  • shops
  • churches
  • community centres
  • council offices
  • activities
  • local parks

Your guest might need you to help them find local services or explain how to access things like public transport, benefits or education. You might not have all the answers, but do think about who you can direct them to find the right information. You might also find the answer to their questions in the GOV.UK guest guidance.

You should try to help direct your guests to public services. For example, this could involve helping them contact and register with a local GP and NHS dentist.

Your local council handles support such as:

  • registering children with local schools
  • classes for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • giving advice and referring guests to mental health or specialist services if needed
  • advising on how to access local Jobcentre Plus services and explaining their role

We have more advice for helping your guests.

On arrival

Once your guests have arrived, we need you to complete the arrivals form:

This form tells us about your guests so we can provide immediate support to them, including:

  • their welcome payment of £200
  • laptop and bus pass

It will also confirm when your guest(s) arrived. You will be able to apply for the monthly host thank you payment once your guest(s) have been with you for 15 days.

Once your guests have settled in, we will contact you and them to arrange an in-person welfare visit. These visits are required by government and are to help you and your guests access any advice, information or support you may need. The visit will also identify any additional needs or issues you may have and help you with these.

When your guest is settled, talk to them about the basic arrangements for living together. You should talk about any agreements you need to make about:

  • using shared areas of the house, like the kitchen and dining room
  • sharing housework, like cleaning and cooking
  • any rules you would like your guests to follow about things like smoking, drinking alcohol, or noise

You will receive a monthly payment as a thank you for hosting. You are not expected to use this money to pay for food for them, or other support.

When your guests leave

If you can host for longer than 6 months that is brilliant. We ask all hosts to continue until their guests are ready to move on, if possible.

However, we understand that not everyone can host for more than 6 months, and guests also might want to find their own place to live. Where that is the case, we ask you to work with your guests to develop a plan for how they will move on.

Many guests look to move into more independent accommodation after a while. This is likely to be private rental, but depends on the local rental market. Some guests also choose to leave the area and some return to Ukraine. Their visas allow for multiple entries to the UK so they are able to return if they wish or need to.

Some people need a little more time with a host before they are ready to move. In these cases, they may be “rematched” with a new host if the first arrangement comes to an end. We can support you with this, so please let us know by email if we can help: Ukraine@eastsussex.gov.uk.

When your guest is ready to leave, we will need you to complete the departures form:

This enables us to:

  • update our and the government’s records
  • make sure we stop your host payments to avoid overpayments and
  • ensure we continue to support your guests once they have moved on if needed.

It is your responsibility to tell us that your guests have left. If you continue to claim host payments knowing that your guests will no longer be living with you, we will take steps to reclaim these funds.

Support for hosts

Monthly thank you payments

Once your guests have arrived, your local District or Borough Council will contact you complete the host payments application form.

Hosts are paid monthly. You will receive £500 per month if you host up to 5 guests, or £650 per month for 5 or more.

You will become eligible for monthly payments once your guests have been with you for 15 days. Payments are made for the whole month for as long as your guest is resident with you (up to a maximum of 3 years).

Guest absences

Sometimes guests will leave for a short period, such as to go on holiday, visit friends and family, or for employment opportunities.

If the guests are absent for a less than a calendar month, your host payment is not affected and you need take no action.

If they are absent for a calendar month or more, you will not be eligible for a payment for that month. You should inform us of the situation. Monthly thank you payments will resume once the guests have returned to live with you.

If guests leave for a planned period but do not return as expected, you should let us know as soon as you become aware. Let us know by email: Ukraine@eastsussex.gov.uk.

If you arrange to host a guest without the agreement of the local council then you won’t be able to claim a payment. This is because it will be outside of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

Other support

You can tap into a lot of support, both through local councils and the community.

Homes for Ukraine contact centre

Can help with:

  • host payments
  • safeguarding concerns
  • signposting to more help

Email: ukraine@eastsussex.gov.uk or phone: 01273 337010.

District and Borough Councils

Can offer support and advice about:

  • benefits
  • housing issues
  • transport
  • local services

Contact details for your district or borough council.

Community and voluntary groups

They offer support for hosts and guests.

Support to prevent breakdown of hosting relationships

The Sustainment Service run by Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) can support you and your guests if you start to find your relationship is becoming difficult.

Mediation between hosts and guests

Free mediation and one-to-one support:

For mediation in your area, email:

More information

Further information and resources to help you in your hosting journey.

Newsletters for hosts

Sign up for and read our newsletters.