West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has increased payments for Homes for Ukraine hosts from £350 to £550 a month from December through to March 2023, to help cover rising living costs.
Residents who are kindly hosting Ukrainian refugees in West Northants through the Homes for Ukraine scheme are already able to opt in to receive £350 per month as a ‘thank you’ payment, which is administered by WNC on behalf of the Government.
The payment assists hosts with any additional costs that may be incurred, and the Council is now adding a discretionary increase of £200.
The additional funding comes from a special grant to help with the Homes for Ukraine scheme, taking the total up to £550 per household.
West Northamptonshire has received over 660 arrivals since the Homes for Ukraine scheme started, with 480 still residing in the area. In total 407 sponsors have registered to receive Ukrainian guests, with 290 currently hosting.
For those not staying with hosts, some have moved into their own accommodation or moved to other areas in the UK, whilst others have returned to Ukraine or to other countries in Europe.
Councillor David Smith, WNC's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, said: "We recognise that hosts may be facing additional pressures over the coming months due to the increases in the cost of living, which is why we have taken the decision to pay an additional £200 on top of the initial ‘thank you’ payment for those that are hosting Ukrainian guests in the months of December to March.
"We are extremely grateful to all those who have expressed an interest in becoming a sponsor and those who continue to host our Ukrainian guests.
"Anyone interested in becoming a host or finding out more about the Homes for Ukraine scheme can find information on the WNC website."
The additional £200 payment and original basic £350 payment are tax-free and should not affect entitlement to benefits or Council Tax status.