Extra support for Ukrainian guests in Worcester
Extra financial support is to be provided to Ukrainian guests and the families who are hosting them in Worcester.
The City Council has agreed to use its share of a Government funding pot to help with rising energy bills and the additional costs that Christmas will bring for Ukrainian guests living in the city, among other support.
For host families that have already had Ukrainian guests living with them for six months, the monthly 'thank you' payments they receive will be boosted from £350 to £600 for the next six months.
Host households that have had Ukrainian guests with them for fewer than six months will receive additional payments to help with energy bills, while Ukrainian guests will benefit from a payment towards their Christmas expenses. The Council is also providing financial support to Ukrainian guests who are considering moving into private rented housing in the city.
Councillor Owen Cleary, Vice Chair of the Communities Committee, said: "At a time when the cost of living is rising we want to be able to ensure that the families and households in Worcester who are kindly hosting Ukrainian guests are not going to be out of pocket.
"When Ukrainian guests first arrived in the UK, at a time of desperate crisis for their nation, Worcester families generously came forward to host them for an initial six months. The new payments we are introducing will help guests to stay here for longer, without their hosts incurring additional costs."
The new payments are being made from a Government scheme which provides £10,550 per Ukrainian guest to local councils.
Each council is able to make its own decision about how to use the money.
Worcester City Council has agreed to pay £200 to households that have been hosting Ukrainian guests for fewer than six months, to help to help with energy bills. These payments will be made in £50 instalments over four months.
All Ukrainian guests living in the city will received £50 each to help with Christmas expenses.
There are currently 121 Ukrainian guests in Worcester, with a further 20 people listed to arrive in the future. Eleven Ukrainians have now moved into private rented accommodation in the city, and it is expected that more will want to do so in the near future.
To facilitate the move to private rented accommodation, the City Council is also making payments of £1,500 available to pay their first month's rent. This will be paid for up to 60 Ukrainian families and households.
A further payment of up to £1,000 will also be given to Ukrainian households for them to buy essential provisions if they move into private rented accommodation. Again, up to 60 such payments will be provided.