More than 70 British politicians have signed an open letter calling on the UK government to support Ukrainian refugees and prevent them from falling into homelessness.
It comes after new data revealed 4,000 Ukrainian households received homelessness support in the past year.
The letter from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ending Homelessness warns that Ukrainians coming to the UK to escape the continuing conflict will fall into homelessness unless changes are made to existing support schemes.
The group is calling on the government to harmonise funding across visa schemes for arriving refugees.
“It is unacceptable that thousands of people who arrived in the UK to escape the conflict are now facing homelessness,” the group's joint chairs Bob Blackman and Florence Eshalomi said.
“While the announcement of continued funding under the existing schemes for both sponsors and refugees is welcome, more must be done to prevent increasing numbers of Ukrainian refugees from being forced into homelessness.”
Since June last year, the number of Ukrainian households receiving homelessness assistance in the UK has increased more than six times.
The group wishes to see improved funding available to hosts and sponsors to ensure that no Ukrainian seeking refuge in the UK is left facing homelessness.
The government had introduced three new visa-based schemes to support those seeking safety in the UK but the group fears the design and implementation of funding available has left some refugees outside of the scope of support
Currently, Ukrainians under the Family Scheme receive no financial support from the UK government, forcing them and their family members to rely on their own resources instead to get by.
The funding available for hosts under the Homes for Ukraine scheme also lacks flexibility, with lodging arrangements excluded from the scheme, and payments fixed regardless of the size of the family sponsored, the group says.
It fears that, without changes to the support offered and consistency between visa schemes, more refugees could end up facing homelessness this year as living arrangements break down.
In addition, the cost-of-living crisis and the lack of affordable housing has severely restricted people’s ability to move on from sponsorship and into their own homes, with recent research finding that one in ten Ukrainian refugees have been threatened with eviction since arriving in the UK.
“As we approach a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is unacceptable that thousands of people who arrived in the UK to escape the conflict are now facing homelessness,” Mr Blackman and Ms Eshalomi said.
“While the announcement of continued funding under the existing schemes for both sponsors and refugees is welcome, more must be done to prevent increasing numbers of Ukrainian refugees from being forced into homelessness.
“Unfortunately, many of the challenges facing refugees in securing safe housing are not unique to this community but rather indicative of the wider crisis across the country, as more and more people are forced into unstable living situations due to rising costs.
“We are calling upon the UK government to continue supporting Ukrainian refugees in the UK through the introduction of extended and harmonised financial support, as well as the appointment of a new Minister of State for Refugees, to ensure no one fleeing the war in Ukraine and seeking sanctuary in the UK is left facing homelessness.”
Thousands of Ukrainians, mostly women and children, are staying with families and individuals who are entitled to a monthly £350 “thank you” payment.