In February 2021, the Home Office confirmed that a new resettlement programme will begin as soon as the current scheme ends. This new programme will be called UKRS (the United Kingdom Resettlement Scheme) and all Community Sponsorship Groups who have submitted their applications or who are yet to submit applications will be welcoming families through this scheme. The Home Office is already matching Groups with families as part of the UKRS.
We do know that the new scheme will have a broader global scope, and that the number of refugees welcomed through Community Sponsorship will not be included in the number of resettlement places made available by Local Authorities. This means that neighbours and friends can join together and directly impact the number of refugees who can find a place of safety in the UK.
The Home Office have accepted families who are awaiting resettlement in the UK and will prioritise these cases for resettlement. The findings from the ICI inspectors report in November 2020 outlined that the waiting time for families to arrive was taking too long given the urgency of the refugees’ need to be resettled. As such, the Home Office will be prioritising the resettlement of those who have been waiting for the longest amount of time to be offered a place of safety.
The Home Office have produced a Q&A document which you can download here.
What does this mean for Community Sponsorship Groups?
There is a greater need for families outside of the traditional family unit usually welcomed (2 parents, 3 children)
- There is a strong need for 4-bedroom homes that can accommodate multigenerational or non-dependent adult families. We offer assistance in calculating likely benefits for these households Please note that when securing 4 bedroomed properties, you will be able to claim 12 weeks of void property costs from the Home Office.
- There is a need for accessible properties – these could be properties where those with mobility needs could live, or those fully accessible to wheelchair users. It might be that a property could be adapted to make it possible for someone with accessibility needs to live there. The Home Office are able to make property adaptation costs available to property owners up to £30,000 to make this possible – this is on a case by case basis and only by prior agreement
- Read our finding accommodation resource for further information on searching for a property
- There are a high number of families where one or more members of the family has serious medical needs, if you are searching for or purchasing property, there is a demand for properties which have good access to hospitals. Read our medical needs page to find out more on what to consider
- There is a need for single households for new adults, that is someone who has just turned 18. Supporting a single person household will be very different from supporting a family unit. Think about how you could support a single person
The Home Office is going to continue to accept all accommodation that meets the sponsor requirements and has been checked by the police and the local authority. However, Groups should be aware that there is a need to accommodate the family units mentioned above as a priority.
Reset are always happy to talk through your plans and support confidentiality. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can assist.