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More than 9,000 Ukrainian refugees have been reported as homeless since June 2022 – as MPs warn number sleeping rough on streets of Britain will only get worse


More than 9,000 Ukrainian refugee households have been reported as homeless since June 2022, according to the latest data – as MPs warned the situation is likely to worsen. 

Today marks two years since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 – prompting more than 200,000 Ukrainians to flee to Britain in the face of the brutal onslaught. 

While most successfully found sanctuary, thousands have been left homeless after their accommodation arrangements broke down. In some cases, refugees have ended up sleeping rough.  

A total of 9070 households sought homelessness support from councils up to the end of January, according to figures published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC).

Out of these, 6,040 were households with dependent children and 3,000 single people. However, out of the 9,000 total, around 6,000 so far have had their homelessness prevented, or relieved, by councils.

Thousands of Ukrainians have been left homeless in the UK after their accommodation arrangements broke down. In some cases, refugees have ended up sleeping rough

Thousands of Ukrainians have been left homeless in the UK after their accommodation arrangements broke down. In some cases, refugees have ended up sleeping rough 

Anfisa Vlasova, a Ukrainian refugee, was left sleeping rough last year with her four Yorkshire Terriers

Anfisa Vlasova, a Ukrainian refugee, was left sleeping rough last year with her four Yorkshire Terriers

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) warned yesterday that the risk of homelessness among Ukrainians in the UK was likely to increase, as more arrangements between Ukrainian guests and their UK sponsors end or break down.

Anfisa Vlasova, a Ukrainian refugee, was left sleeping rough last year with her four Yorkshire Terriers. 

Ms Vlasova was put up by a family in Berkshire and when her stay ended she was offered a place with an elderly man but the move did not go ahead. 

‘They are my emotional support,’ she told Sky News. 

‘I already lost everything in the war. Since I came here, I had six months of quite a peaceful life with my host family and I am really very appreciative to those people but later on, it’s become a nightmare.’

Ihor Luhovyi moved to the North East of England in June 2022 with his wife, Maryna, and their disabled son, Mark. While they have not become homeless, the family have struggled to find somewhere suitable to live.

The family were persuaded to make the move by Mr Luhovyi’s peers in the military to ensure toddler Mark had the best chance of safety and continue his treatment for cerebral palsy.

However, they have since failed to find accommodation that suits the youngster’s needs and are currently looking for somewhere else to live.

Mr Luhovyi, 57, who worked in the technology sector and volunteered in the army back home, said finding a job in the UK has been difficult. His wife is a qualified doctor in Ukraine but must complete a diploma across here before she can work.

Ihor Luhovyi, his wife Maryna, and their disabled son, Mark, have been living in temporary accommodation

Ihor Luhovyi, his wife Maryna, and their disabled son, Mark, have been living in temporary accommodation 

The number of Ukrainians arriving in the UK has dramatically reduced since Russia's invasion in February 2022. The Y axis of this graph shows the number in thousands

The number of Ukrainians arriving in the UK has dramatically reduced since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. The Y axis of this graph shows the number in thousands 

Mr Luhovyi told MailOnline: ‘We live in temporary accommodation at the moment in Fenham in Newcastle.

‘In Ukraine we were helping with supplies of convoys and we were providing aid but we ended up moving to the UK in June.

‘It was difficult to accept because I was able to make more money in Ukraine, but my friends told me we needed to make the move for my son so we eventually came across.

‘We lived with my sponsor for around nine months and then we found temporary housing, but we are still looking for somewhere that is better equipped for Mark.

‘My son has additional requirements so we were trying to find a ground floor flat with bigger doors but it has been quite hard to find anywhere like that.

‘I was trying to find somewhere else but some landlords here did not really want to make the changes.

‘That has been difficult for us but Mark is doing well and we hope to put him in a school this year.’

Mr Luhovyi said that, despite their struggles, he was grateful for the warm welcome and support he had received from local people.

The latest DLUHC data shows this was the most common reason for refugees becoming homeless so far, accounting for two-thirds of cases up to the end of January. 

The figures cover Ukrainians who have arrived on one of the two main Ukrainian visa schemes – Homes for Ukraine, where Ukrainians stay with British families who have agreed to sponsor them – and the Ukraine Family Scheme.  

However, the PAC report also warned that ministers do not have a full and accurate picture of homelessness among Ukrainian refugees due to 30 per cent of English councils failing to provide regular date. 

Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country from the railway station at Odessa, Ukraine, in March 2022

Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country from the railway station at Odessa, Ukraine, in March 2022

The Home Office closed the Ukraine Family Scheme on Monday. 

Labour said the move ‘sends the wrong message’ about the UK’s ‘willingness’ to stand by Ukraine while campaigners raised concerns that one of ‘few safe routes’ created to allow families to reunite amid the conflict was ‘closing at such short notice’.

However, the Home Office said it was wrong to suggest the Government was restricting the ability of Ukrainians to bring family to the UK.

A DLUHC spokesperson said: “Thanks to the success of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, over 140,000 Ukrainians have been welcomed to the UK and the vast majority have settled in well. This week the government announced that they will be able to apply to stay for an additional 18 months and continue to have the same rights to access work, benefits, healthcare, and education.

“For arrivals under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, we provide a £5,900 per person to councils to enable them to provide support, including in the minority of cases where someone is left without accommodation. We have also given councils an additional £109 million this year to prevent Ukrainian homelessness.”



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