Find out about the funding available to support refugee families
As you plan your budget you will be looking into how your group will fund the delivery of your resettlement plan. Alongside your fundraising activities, you should consider the other sources of funding that are available to sponsorship groups and to Local Authorities and GPs that provide services to resettled refugee families. You may find it helpful to know about this funding when you are approaching your Local Authority and GPs about resettling a family in your area.
Property Void Costs
In property terms, a void cost is when a property is empty and receives no income from tenants. It is likely that you will incur some void costs in the accommodation while you are waiting for the family to arrive. Your group will be able to put in a claim after a family have arrived. The Home Office will email your Lead Sponsor with a copy of this form (we will also be reminding you about this!). You will need to demonstrate the costs you have incurred. This could be done via a bank statement showing the payments alongside a rental agreement covering that period, for example.
Void Property Costs are claimed at
- 1-3 Bedroomed properties are capped at 8 weeks of void property costs, capped at the Local Housing Allowance rate
- 4 bedroomed properties are capped at 12 weeks of void property costs, capped at the Local Housing Allowance rate*
* from 01 April 2021
All Adult (over-19) refugees must be given access to formal ESOL classes for 8 hours per week. In order to support this, the Home Office can provide £850 per adult refugee which can be used to contribute toward running classes, paying ESOL fees or providing childcare where this is a barrier to attendance. This will be payable from the Home Office to your Lead Sponsor. If a family member is 18 on arrival, you can claim the rate for them when they turn 19. Your Lead Sponsor will receive a claim form from the Home Office once a family has been allocated to your Group, and Reset will be reminding you to have this completed! Your Lead Sponsor will need to upload this form via MoveIT.
Each year, the Home Office have a fund to cover exceptional child care costs (this was £600,000 in 2021/22). Strategic Migration Partnerships in each region and nation can put in bids to draw down from this funding. Please ensure you approach your SMP if you identify a need to access this funding.
Funding available for statutory services
We recommend that, when you are carrying out your research into schools and medical services as part of your resettlement plan, you share the following information with Local Authorities and GPs as they may not be aware that this funding is available to them.
Local Authorities will be able to claim £4,500 for children aged 5-18 and £2,250 for children aged 3-4 from the Home Office. You can find more information in the Local Authority Funding Instruction
Once registered with a GP, a CCG in England, Health Boards in Scotland and Wales or the Department of Health in Northern Ireland can claim £2,600 per family member from the Home Office. This is a single payment that can be claimed in the first 12 months following the refugees’ arrival in the United Kingdom. You can find more information here in the Healthcare Funding Instruction. Make sure that you let the GP Surgery where the family will be registered know that their relevant Health Authority can claim this funding.
A Local Authority can claim Exceptional Cost payments in order to cover social care provision for refugees. There is no minimum or maximum amount that can be claimed but Exceptional Costs cannot be claimed for support provided to a refugee that would normally be funded through health or education funding or through welfare payments.
Making changes to a property to improve accessibility
Community Sponsorship Groups can claim up to £30,000 from the Home Office to make changes to a property to make it more accessible to a refugee with mobility needs. This could include adding handrails or ramps but cannot include extensions. The claim is subject to approval by the Home Office on a case by case basis requiring an assessment by an occupational therapist or similarly qualified person. In principle approval for your Community Sponsorship Application would need to be awarded by the Home Office in advance of any work being undertaken. If a grant is made available for adapting a social or private rented property the landlord is required to make the property available for letting by the tenant for a period of five years upon completion of the work, in line with Disabled Facility Grant arrangements.
“Exceptional Costs” means additional expenses incurred by a Community Sponsorship group in supporting a Refugee/Refugee family for which the Home Office has a budget and may, on a case-by-case basis, agree to reimburse.
Payments may be made to cover additional essential costs incurred by the Community Sponsorship group above and beyond what could reasonably be regarded as normal expenditure and not available through other mainstream funding mechanisms. Funding from the Exceptional Costs budget may be used, amongst other things, to pay for property void costs and property adaptations, to support the resettlement of individuals/families with particular needs.
Before incurring Exceptional Costs, Community Sponsorship groups must seek agreement in writing from the Home Office’s Resettlement Payments Team or risk having the claim rejected. All applications will be assessed, and payments made, on a case-by-case basis and will need to be balanced against competing demands for the exceptional costs fund and within the overall confines of the exceptional costs budget. Further information can be found in the relevant funding instruction’s Annex for each scheme. Decisions made by the Resettlement Payments Team are final and incur no right of appeal.