EAST SUSSEX residents who are hosting Ukrainian guests through the Homes for Ukraine scheme are set to receive winter top up payments from the council.
East Sussex County Council has taken the decision to increase the monthly payments payable to hosts to thank them for their continued kindness and generosity and to reflect the increased costs people are facing during the current economic crisis.
The monthly payments for all hosts will increase by £150 per host per month, for six months from October 2022 to March 2023. The increase will apply county wide and be payable to both existing and new hosts.
For hosts with fewer than five guests, the thank you payment will rise from £350 to £500 per month between October and March.
Hosts accommodating families of five or more currently receive £500 per month to acknowledge the significant additional costs of hosting larger families. The monthly payments received by those hosts will increase to £650 per month from October to March.
It is also hoped that the enhanced payments over the winter will encourage hosts to continue their hosting relationship for as long as possible and enable them to host beyond the initial six-month period.
In addition to the winter top up payments, the council has also agreed to a one-off incentive payment of £1000 for hosts who host for 12 consecutive months and who are willing to extend their placements beyond the 12-month period.
Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for adult social care and health at East Sussex County Council said: “Hundreds of East Sussex residents have opened their homes to those fleeing the war in Ukraine this year, offering shelter and kindness when most needed.
“The cost-of-living crisis coupled with the approach of winter means that many hosts are concerned about the increased costs they face over the coming months. The council has taken the decision to offer winter top up payments to help those residents through the next few months and ensure they can continue to offer their homes to those in need.”
529 households are currently hosting Ukrainian guests in East Sussex, and more host families are desperately needed.
Cllr Maynard continued: “As well as thanking those already hosting, we hope that increasing the monthly thank you payment over the winter period will encourage more people to consider hosting in the months ahead.
“We urgently need more host families and I would urge residents who wish to host, or would like to return to hosting, to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
More information on hosting in East Sussex and the support available to Ukrainian guests is available at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/community/supporting-refugees/ukraine