Fears about where Ukrainian refugees will go after the reception program ends
HOSTS who have taken in Ukrainians fleeing the war are worried about what will happen to their guests when their arrangements end.
Last week marked the 100th day since Russia invaded Ukraine, and with no end in sight to the conflict, experts warn it could drag on for months, if not years.
Meanwhile, many hosts who have signed up for the Interior Ministry’s Homes for Ukraine program feel abandoned by authorities and “on their own”.
Sheila and Peter Glaze, who live in Henley, sponsored Volodymyr Hlynskyi, wife Olena and daughter Valeria-Muza.
After fleeing their hometown of Kyiv, the Ukrainian couple, both 60, and Valeria-Muza, 39, moved into the Glazes’ four-bedroom home in April.
Sheila, 66, and Peter, 70, who together have six adult children and six grandchildren, cannot host beyond October when their agreement ends.
Sheila told the Herald: “Most hosts are like us – they have a few spare bedrooms to make available to others and shared facilities.
“They have offered their apartment for half a year, but they don’t want or can’t continue any longer.”
Sheila and Peter asked the Stratford District Council what to do when they reached the end of their six-month recording period and were told to give Volodymyr, Olena and Valeria-Muza two months’ notice.
Sheila emphasizes, “When you take people into your home, it’s very difficult to tell them, ‘We’re going to make you homeless in two months.’ If someone had told me right off the bat, “At some point you’re going to have to make your guests homeless so the municipality can pick it up,” we probably wouldn’t have done it.”
The district council also sent Sheila and Peter links to private rental sites.
Volodymyr, a project manager in Kyiv, is taking health and safety exams this week to secure a job at a construction company. In April, he told the Herald how the family woke on February 24 to the sound of rockets flying and distant explosions.
They only had an hour and a half to pack all their belongings into suitcases and flee. They made a frantic 550-mile journey through Ukraine by road, boarded a train and finally crossed the border into Poland on foot. Many hosts have helped refugees apply for Universal Credit, open a bank account, and find a family doctor or local school.
But there are fears it will be harder to find private rental accommodation as prices in the Stratford area are high. Landlords usually ask for three years of housing history, credit history, credit ratings, and often a guarantor.