Hundreds of Ukrainian families have become homeless after arriving in the UK as refugees, figures released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show.
At least 480 Ukrainian families with children and 180 single individuals applied for help from local councils in England between the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February and the beginning of June. As of 21 June, the UK had issued 135,900 visas to Ukrainians fleeing the war.
The numbers of those who have become homeless are likely to be an underestimate since about a quarter of councils failed to report figures. Other families may have become homeless but not sought assistance from their local authorities.
A government spokesperson said: “The overwhelming majority of people are settling in well, but in the minority of cases where family or sponsor relationships break down, councils have a duty to ensure families are not left without a roof over their head.”
Some Ukrainian refugees at risk of homelessness have found alternative accommodation or managed to stay in their current home. The department's figures showed an additional 140 households went through successful mediation with their hosts or were matched with other hosts.
Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “We welcomed the thousands of British people that came forward to open their homes. However, these hosting relationships were always going to come with risks and responsibilities. That is why it is vital the government ensure that hosts and refugees are provided with the right training and specialist support, including help to find alternative accommodation when necessary to avoid the risk of homelessness.”