Guidance for local authorities on the funding available to support the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
There are several different funding streams for local authorities to support Ukrainian people coming to Wales under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The Homes for Ukraine Scheme encompasses those directly placed with hosts or those coming through the “super sponsor” scheme:
- general tariff per person
- additional costs
- education tariff, based on age
- unaccompanied minors
- monthly thank you payments for hosts
- initial accommodation
Funding was previously made available for arrival hubs, but these have now closed and local authorities will no longer receive funding for them.
There is no specific funding available for people arriving under the family scheme. However, the Welsh Government will fund hosts to support Ukraine Family Scheme arrivals where they can no longer live with their family sponsors and have had to be re-matched with an unrelated host.
The Wales: Nation of Sanctuary contact centre service has been put in place through Cardiff City Council and is being funded by the Welsh Government.
No additional funding has been provided by UK Government or the Welsh Government for health boards.
This guidance will be updated periodically when issues are identified or circumstances change.
General tariff funding
The Homes for Ukraine scheme provides a per-person tariff for local authorities to support local authorities to provide wrap-around support to individuals and families to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into communities. This began at £10,500 per person in the first year of arrival but since 1 January 2023 has reduced to £5,900. For the avoidance of doubt, while the tariff is calculated on a per person rate, it is not to be applied specifically to an individual and funding may be aggregated and used to support the delivery of activities to all Ukrainians under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme in that authority. It may be the case that support services are set up and used by Ukrainians under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme and the Family Scheme to utilise economies of scale.
The UK Government (UKG) is now providing funding at a rate of £5,900 per person from the point of arrival. The funding is for their first year in the UK only. This funding covers the 12-month period from the date of arrival and may be carried over into the next financial year. The amount of the tariff is pro rata for the time they are in Wales if they are moving between UK countries. The funding will be administered by the Welsh Government.
The tariff payment is paid to local authorities quarterly in arrears on the receipt and processing of a valid claim. The tariff will be pro rata per month at a rate of £475 per month for those arriving after the 1 January 2023 (£5,900 less £200 emergency payment divided by 12) for the time that the local authority is supporting an individual in a host situation or rented accommodation. For those Ukrainians arriving before 1 January 2023 the tariff payment will continue at £858 per month (£10,500 less £200 emergency payment divided by 12) for the remainder of their first 12 month in the Wales. For the time an individual is in initial emergency accommodation the tariff element will be retained by the Welsh Government as support is provided through separate wraparound funding.
This funding package will include (not an exhaustive list and types of services are dependent on need and local authority assessment):
- community integration: local authorities and their partners will play a key role in the integration of Ukrainian families into their local communities. Integration might include casework support to resolve barriers or concerns, ESOL provision, access to interpretation services, development of community events, using community champions in the voluntary or faith sector and helping to signpost people to relevant support
- specialist service referrals: where necessary or advisable, councils should facilitate referrals to specialist public health services e.g. mental health services, adult social care and children’s services
- work and benefits: councils should support guests to access local Jobcentre Plus appointments for benefit assessments and job-seeking, including any additional benefits enabled by the Department of Work and Pensions
- initial emergency payments: the local authority where the host accommodation is located is asked to provide an interim payment of £200 per guest. The £200 payment is part of the £5,900 tariff and does not need to be repaid by the guest. Local authorities will also have discretion within the tariff to top-up or further support guests with interim or additional payments which will come from their monthly allocation of tariff funding. The £200 is payable to the Ukrainian person and not to their sponsor
- accommodation: help for those moving into the private rented sector with bonds, rent in advance, and rent guarantee. This is the responsibility of the receiving authority where individuals are moving between authorities. See Guidance for local authorities: accommodation, matching and move on for more information
- transport: costs of transport to hospital appointments, new accommodation
- rematching: facilitating rematching where sponsorships break down
- unaccompanied minors: supporting minors not travelling with or joining their parents in the UK
Where individuals formally move between local authority areas (including from initial accommodation) to alternative local authority areas in Wales the tariff will be paid pro rata to the new host authority. Reconciliation will take place at the end of each financial year. Claiming on a 12-month pro rata basis means that there are no transfers of funding required between authorities. It also means where an individual moves from Wales to England, Scotland or Northern Ireland during their first year funding will be held by the Welsh Government for reconciliation purposes.
For example, if an individual arrives in April 2023, stays in initial accommodation in Powys for 2 months, moves in with a host in Cardiff for 6 months and then onto rented accommodation in Caerphilly the funding will be as follows:
- UK Government pay £5,900 to the Welsh Government
- Powys pays individual £200 and claims from the Welsh Government
- the Welsh Government retains two months tariff (£950) to support wraparound services
- Cardiff local authority claims six months tariff payments (£2,850)
- Caerphilly local authority claims four months tariff payments (£1,900)
Costs may not be even across the year; however, the impact will be different depending on an individual’s movement during the year. Therefore, a straight pro rata has been applied.
We expect local authorities to use the funding tariffs (the local authority general tariff and the education tariff) to meet all associated costs (both for providing services and for administering payments). We recognise, however, that a small number of local authorities may incur additional essential costs above and beyond what could reasonably be regarded as normal expenditure and where alternative funding is not available through other mainstream funding mechanisms.
We are prepared to consider the case for further funding and are prepared to initially consider claims for such costs on an exceptional basis only but will carefully monitor these cost implications. Agreement to these must be sought in advance of incurring costs except in cases of extreme urgency. Retrospective agreement cannot be guaranteed.
Education services tariff
Local authorities are required to provide school places for children of school age. UKG is provided funding for all UK local authorities to provide education services for children and young people on a per pupil basis in the 2022 to 2023 financial year only. There is no funding available from 1 April 2023. Funding received by local authorities in 2022 to 2023 can be carried over into the next financial year if unused.
Local authorities can spend funding on:
- the provision of a school place (including time for staff resource and travel)
- to provide education provision for 2 to 4 year-olds and post-16 children and young people
- funding placement of larger clusters of children into schools and early years settings, including the hiring of additional and specialist teaching and non-teaching staff
- providing transport to and from education settings
- the provision of specialist and bespoke services, such as support for children with additional needs, and resources (this may include education materials for schools)
- free school meals and school uniform (including school bags/provisions e.g. water bottles etc.)
- to provide access to extra-curricular activities e.g. sports
- on community services whose provision benefits the children
- any other reasonable costs associated with the provision of education and childcare (for example after school clubs / wrap around provision)
- education provision provided within initial accommodation provided through the Welsh Government’s super sponsor scheme
Unaccompanied minors are eligible for the same funding as any arrival of their age bracket with some additional amendments:
- “thank you” payment for sponsors for up to three years, the length of the visa, this is paid direct from UKG
- £5,900 per child, per local authority, per year. It is assumed that elements of the funding intended for adults for example, in relation to social care and employment support, would instead be used as additional funds to support children
- £64,150 per child, taken into care per year for reasons of sponsorship breakdown, or if the local authority assesses that to be taken into care is in the child’s best interests: paid via the Welsh Government
- £16,850 per child, taken into care, per year who then becomes a care leaver: paid via the Welsh Government
The support if a child is taken into care will be provided on a weekly pro rata basis.
The funding is only available for the first year in which the child is taken into care.
If a child becomes a care leaver the funding is a one-off lump sum payment in arrears, available for the first year the child is a care leaver only.
Monthly thank you payments for hosts
Local authorities will also administer the ‘thank you’ payments for Homes for Ukraine hosts (whether direct through the sponsor scheme or via the Welsh super sponsor scheme and they are now in host arrangements). The UK Government is paying the following rates:
- £350 per sponsoring household per month rate for the first 12 months after arrival in the UK
- £500 per sponsoring household per month rate from month 13 after arrival in the UK
These funding rates are based on the number of months that the Ukrainian person/family has been in the UK not on the number of months a host has hosted for. For example, if a host has one family who arrived in April 22 for 9 months and then another that arrived in December 22 for 9 months, they will only receive £350 per month. However, if they had one family who arrived in April 22 for 18 months the host would receive 12 payments of £350 and 6 payments of £500. If they hosted the same family for 18 months again, they would get £350 for the first 12 months and £500 for the last 6 months. This funding will be coming direct from the UK Government for both those hosts having Ukrainians under direct sponsorship or via the Welsh Government super sponsor route. Data is being consolidated by the Welsh Government to UKG from the quarterly returns from local authorities (quality assured with the relevant data held in the Nation of Sanctuary: Ukraine Data Platform).
UKG guidance confirms the payments start from the first month where the period of hosting is 15 days or greater. Payments cease when the hosting arrangement permanently ceases for 15 or more days (i.e. will still cover a 2 week holiday).
The UKG guidance says:
Sponsors must be certain that they are in a secure position to offer a stable home to someone who needs it. Sponsors have the option to receive a monthly payment of £350 (or £500 where eligible, paid in arrears, for as long as they are hosting guests and provided that the accommodation provided is of a suitable standard. Sponsors will be eligible for the first monthly payment once the local council has visited to check the standard of the accommodation. For sponsors who receive welfare payments, the government is ensuring ‘thank you’ payments do not affect your benefit entitlement. ‘Thank you’ payments will not affect any council tax discounts for single occupancy. They will be tax free. If a sponsor’s guest moves out of their home for any reason, they must inform their local council at the earliest opportunity as they will need to let them know that you are no longer eligible for the monthly payments. They are eligible only so long as the guest(s) remain living in their accommodation. Only one monthly payment will be given per residential address, regardless of the number of guests being hosted, size, or location of the property.
UKG has confirmed that “Residential address” refers to the residence occupied by the individual/family from Ukraine not the host, so sponsors/hosts are eligible for “one payment per residential address that guests reside in.”
We have also agreed to provide the thank you payments to hosts who sponsor Ukrainian people who originally arrived on the Ukraine family scheme but whose initial housing arrangements have broken down and they have subsequently been placed with an unrelated host family. This is to ensure that Ukraine Family Scheme arrivals are not left without opportunities to be hosted.
Data returns must therefore identify these cases separately on the Welsh Government funding claim form and they should not be included on the data to inform the claim to UKG for the thank you payments. If an authority finds that it has claimed in error either from UKG or from the Welsh Government, the Welsh Government should be informed so that adjustments can be made when appropriate. See data collection below.
As per the UK guidance there will be circumstances where people from Ukraine (who did not come through the family scheme) are re-matched from one host to another. In such circumstances, the £350 or £500 per month payment will be available to the secondary (or tertiary etc.) host. For example, the initial sponsor may receive 2 months’ payment until a breakdown, with a secondary host receiving 14 months’ payment if the secondary placement lasts that duration.
Top up payments
We have agreed an uplift in the “thank you” payment to all hosts from £350 to £500 a month during their first year of hosting. This will be paid via the quarterly claim finance claim forms by WG, rather than direct from UKG to local authorities. This is effective from 1 April 2023.
Local authorities will pay the Welsh Government funded £150 top up directly to hosts in addition to the £350 UK Government thank you payments (£500 in total). Where a local authority has made a decision to increase thank you payments above £500, it is the local authority’s responsibility to fund any further top ups from their budget.
We have made specific arrangements with the relevant local authorities for initial accommodation. Grant letters detailing terms and conditions have been issued to the relevant authorities. For the avoidance of doubt, initial accommodation will not be funded except where the Welsh Government has agreed they should be established.
The funding for initial accommodation includes accommodation where relevant and funding for the associated wrap around services. This funding seeks to ensure local authorities are provided with the resources needed to provide casework and bespoke support to those whom the Welsh Government has directly sponsored under the Homes for Ukraine super sponsor route.
Funding is provided as an initial one off fixed fee for initial mobilisation (one off payment on an agreed scale according to overall capacity of the venue see table below) and a maximum tariff rate based on £20 per person per day for up to 60% of agreed occupancy. Occupancy levels will be monitored.
For example, if initial accommodation has a capacity of 100 guests, wraparound service funding would be 60% of £20 per person x 100 guests, which equates to £1,200 per day as well as a one-off payment of £40,000 (the level for 100 capacity).
Where capacity at initial accommodation is exceeded by arrivals, the Welsh Government secures and funds additional accommodation (largely through hotels). There is a similar need for wrap around services from local authorities for people staying in these temporary arrangements.
In smaller scale or short-term agreements for initial accommodation, the flat rate one-off payment would not be provided. However, the full £20 per person per day rate would be provided to the receiving local authority, without any deductions based upon average occupancy consideration to ensures actual usage of facilities, and the volatility of provision is fairly considered.
Move on support
Following changes to the general tariff funding from UK Government, we are making available £2m in 2023 to 2024 to support Ukrainian guests to move into longer term accommodation. £1.5m of the funding will be provided to local authorities to prioritise move-on. Local authorities will be able to use this funding at their discretion to support successful moves from initial accommodation into longer-term accommodation, including host arrangements, private rental accommodation, and transitional accommodation.
Whilst not exhaustive, examples of support could include provision of bonds, rent in advance, loans to help meet rent and furniture costs, and rental guarantees. The funding can also be used to help meet staffing to enable move-on into longer term accommodation.
It is also appropriate to use this funding to support move on more generally, for example providing support to access longer term accommodation in another part of Wales or outside of Wales. In addition, to further prioritise move on, a proportion of the funding that is being centrally retained will be used to fund a national task force to support move on from initial accommodation across Wales, which will provide operational skills and experience, as well as additional capacity for local authorities.
The funding is distributed on the basis of the population share of Ukrainian super sponsor arrivals that each local authority has agreed to support into longer term accommodation. This distribution is intended to enable all local authorities to have a role in supporting the move-on of super sponsor arrivals, as agreed under the Homes for Ukraine framework for accommodation so that the full weight does not fall on to local authorities with initial accommodation.
Funding will be provided through the quarterly finance claims.
A discretionary fund of £1.95m has been created to provide targeted support to help with the integration and housing of Ukrainian arrivals. These funds can be allocated to tackle specific challenges such as education, language lessons and employability programmes.
The funding will be distributed in 2 tranches on the basis of the number of Ukrainians in each local authority who have arrived via both the super sponsor and individual Homes for Ukraine route at 1 March 2023. The first funding allocation will be from April to September. A review point will be taken in late August to decide apportionment of the second tranche for the October to March period. Funding will be provided through the quarterly finance claims at the end of each of the 2 tranches.
Distribution of £150m homelessness prevention fund
Consideration is being given to the distribution of the Wales share of the above funding. This is expected to be around £8m in total.
UK Government is requesting data returns on a quarterly basis in 2023 to 2024.
These forms include the number of arrivals and break down of ages to inform the transfer of requisite funding to the Welsh Government. It also includes the number of thank you payments paid under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme for the quarter. The latter will be paid direct to local authorities.
The Nation of Sanctuary: Ukraine Data Platform will capture data such as confirming properties are available, undertaking the checks on property and basic and the completion of enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services checks. We may need to collect additional data for funding purposes, but this will be kept to a minimum and regularly reviewed.
Funding mechanism for funding coming from the Welsh Government
There will be a single funding mechanism for all services delivered for the Ukraine response. This will include the main tariff, initial accommodation unaccompanied minors and any additional funding which has been approved for payment. This will be via a quarterly claim in arrears using a spreadsheet claim form. The funding quarters will be:
- April 2023 to June 2023
- July 2023 to September 2023
- October 2023 to December 2023
- January 2024 to March 2024
As people from Ukraine under these schemes may move between local authority areas, we are collecting monthly numbers via the Welsh Government funding claim form and will continue to allocate funding accordingly. This means that authorities are not expected to manage this flow of money between themselves. This will also help to reconcile payments with UK Government to reflect people moving across different parts of the UK.
The following categories will be funded through the claim form for those on the Homes for Ukraine scheme (individual Homes for Ukraine sponsors or via super sponsor):
- £200 initial emergency payment
- local authority Integration tariff: based on where Ukrainians are living, at a rate of £858/£475 per calendar month
- £350 per month host payment: exceptional basis for those coming out of the family scheme to a host
- unaccompanied minors: if in care on a weekly pro rata rate based on £64,150 for the minors first 12 months in care, if leaving care at a flat rate of £16,850
- initial accommodation: based on actual costs paid by local authorities (some contracts are direct with the Welsh Government)
- initial accommodation wrap around costs: based on £20 per person per day for up to 60% of agreed occupancy, as well as an initial mobilisation lump sum
- where initial accommodation is used without the wider accommodation wraparound being possible, a rate of £20 per person per day will be used for wraparound services to be provided
- additional costs: as agreed with the Welsh Government in advance except in extremis
We anticipate that any other Welsh Government funding streams will be accommodated within this mechanism if it is appropriate to do so.