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Moving on from the Homes for Ukraine Scheme

This page outlines housing options for you and your families as you potentially move on from the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.

We hope that Islington has been a place of safety and sanctuary during what we can only imagine has been a time of great upheaval and turmoil for you. While the situation in Ukraine remains hard to predict, we wanted to equip you with written guidance to ensure that, whatever you choose to do next, you are informed about the housing options that are available to you. We hope you find it useful. 

Your Sponsorship arrangement

Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, sponsors are asked to host their guests for a minimum of 6 months. Some sponsorships are now coming up to this 6-month mark. We would encourage all hosts and sponsors who have been on the scheme for more than 3 months to start discussing next steps as soon as possible.

Your sponsor should give you a reasonable notice period of when they expect you to move out. Government guidance states sponsors should give their guests 2 months' notice.  

Please keep the Refugee and Migrant Service at Islington Council up to date on your plans and arrangements. You can do this by emailing The earlier you can make us aware of your plans, the better placed we will be to support you going forward. 

Some options available to you

It is important to consider what is the most appropriate form of accommodation for you, taking into account factors such as affordability, space, and proximity to schools. Remember that it is common in the UK for children to take public transport, such as a bus, to school. Some housing options for you in the UK include: 

  1. Continuing in your current sponsorship.
  2. Continuing to live with your sponsor, but as a lodger.
  3. Moving to a new host in Islington.
  4. Renting privately from a landlord in Islington or elsewhere in the UK.
  5. Housing association & council housing (social housing).

Housing Options

  1. 1. Continuing in your current sponsorship 

You and your host may be happy to continue the sponsorship beyond the initial 6-month period. If this is an option, we would encourage this as a way forward. To help maintain hosting arrangements, Islington Council will increase the monthly payment amount to £550 a month in order to help support the sponsorship for a period of 12 months from your date of arrival into the UK. Hosts cannot charge you rent if they are continuing to sponsor you as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. If you do choose this option, please inform us at as soon as you can so that we are aware that you are housed safely and appropriately.

  1. 2. Continuing to live with your sponsor, but as a lodger

You may wish to continue staying with your sponsor in their property as a lodger instead of being sponsored by them. This means that you may rent a room from your sponsor for an agreed amount of money per week or month. If you do choose this option, sponsor payments will stop.

For sponsors: If you are a sponsor and claiming benefits for yourself or your family, you need to be aware of the benefit rules regarding lodger income. If you are renting the property it is also important to get your landlord’s permission. If you are working you might want to use the rent-a-room scheme through HMRC. Please see below for links where you can find more information on these topics:

Rent a room in your home: The Rent a Room Scheme - GOV.UK (

Taking in a lodger - what you need to think about first - Citizens Advice

For guests/lodgers: If you want to claim housing costs through universal credit you would need to show a tenancy or licence agreement to show liability to the Department of Work & Pensions. This document will set out your rights and should include a reasonable notice period (e.g. 1 or 2 months) if the sponsor wants you to move out. There are many templates available online that you can use to create this document

  1. 3. Moving to a new host in Islington 

If you wish to continue the sponsorship programme, but your current sponsor can’t host you any longer, it may be possible to rematch you with a new host in Islington. There are a limited number of potential hosts in Islington and we will not be able to offer this to everyone. We mainly have sponsors that can host one person only. 

To ensure the best chance of success with this option, it is vital you give us as much notice as possible of your desire to be rematched – to do this, please email the NRPF, Migrant and Refugee Service by emailing

You can also find a list of organisations who are helping to match Ukrainian nationals with hosts in the UK here.

  1. 4. Renting Privately from a landlord in Islington or elsewhere in the UK

Finding a property in the private rented sector is a good option, as it will provide you with the greatest amount of choice about price, type of property, space, and location. There is extensive online guidance available on how to rent in England. One of the most useful guides available is the “How to Rent” guidebook. This guide is also available in Russian and Ukrainian.

Some key things to note with renting a property in the private rented sector are as follows:

  • Generally, you will be required to pay a deposit upfront that is equivalent to around a month’s worth of rent. This will be kept under a Tenancy Deposit Protection. At the end of the tenancy, the deposit will be returned to you, minus any costs the landlord has taken out to pay for potential damages.

  • You will also be required to pay your first month’s rent upfront. After that, rent is usually paid on a monthly basis, in advance.

  • You may also need to pay a holding deposit in order to reserve the property you are interested in renting out. You should receive this money back – usually it will go towards your rent. 

  • Some landlords will accept tenants who are in receipt of Universal Credit and/or Housing Benefit however this will vary and some landlords may choose not to. Ultimately, this decision is at the landlords’ discretion. 

  • Most rent prices will not include any bills, however some will – always double check. If they are not included, you will generally need to set these bills up yourself. There are different providers for each bill and each will have a different price. You should research different providers in order to find the best deal for you. The main bills you will need to pay in addition to your rent are for:

  • Water.

  • Electricity.

  • Heating: central heating will usually be either gas or electric. 

  • Council Tax: The amount of Council Tax you will be required to pay will depend on which borough or county you live in.

  • Internet/ Wi-fi.

You can find out more information about private sector housing in Islington here.

It is worth keeping in mind that Islington is not only very small, but also densely populated. As a result, housing is both scarce and extremely expensive, even for London. It may be the case that you will find more suitable, affordable housing in other areas of London, or outside of London. We would encourage you to keep an open mind in terms of location to ensure the best chance of finding a suitable property. There are several places to look for properties that are available for rent:

You can also work with an estate agent to help you find a property. Some examples of estate agents you might like to approach are Foxtons, Winkworth, or Dexters. There are many different estate agents, and you can approach whichever one you choose. 

Please note that if you are single, under 35, have no children, and are claiming universal credit, the government will only give you a certain amount of money towards your rent costs. This is called the ‘shared accommodation rate. This is because the government encourages people who fall into this group to share a house with other people. A popular website to find rooms in house shares is Spare Room

To understand what benefits you are entitled to, you may find it useful to use entitledto’s benefits calculator.

You should also read: Understand local housing allowance (LHA) if you're under 35.

Islington Council’s Housing Solutions team may be able to assist you in acquiring a private rented property. The team have lots of good relationships with private landlords and can liaise with landlords on your behalf. To get in touch with the team, please contact them using the details provided on our Directory page.


  1. 5. Housing association & council housing (social housing)

Social housing is provided by either housing associations (not-for-profit organisations that own, let, and manage rented housing) or a local council. Social housing is available in every part of the UK: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is more affordable than private renting and provides a secure, long-term tenancy.

There is a shortage of council and housing association homes in most areas. Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that you would be offered social housing. Currently, there are over 15,000 households on Islington’s housing register waiting for access to social housing. Last year, the Council successfully let 1022 properties, meaning we were only able to house around 6% of everyone on the housing register. 

In Islington, social housing is allocated on a points-based system. Points are based on your level of need – for example, someone who has a disability or medical needs will have a high level of need and will receive more points as a result. When you apply for social housing you will be asked to provide details about yourself. This information will then be used to assess how many points you are eligible for.

If you would like to join the waiting list you can do this at any time, even whilst other housing options are being pursued. You can do this here. Please note that you will need to complete a paper form of this application. If you try to complete the form online, you will not be able to progress beyond the question asking you if you have been living in Islington for three or more years. The address you need to return the form to is listed on the application. 

Every council across the UK has a different allocation policy that sets out who gets priority for social housing. It is easier to get social housing outside of London and particularly in the north of England. If you are interested in applying for social housing, we would encourage you to register with HomeFinder UK. Homefinder UK are a national housing mobility scheme helping individuals and households who want or need to move. They may be better placed to help you find a home that is more suitable for your personal or financial circumstances. The scheme is available to anyone willing to move nationwide, and you can sign up here.


Further information

We hope that this document has been useful and that you feel more informed about the choices available to you. Please see below for a list of links and contacts that you can use to find further information and guidance. 

Useful contacts

These organisations are providing specific support for Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK:

  • Ukrainian Institute London – This is the main Ukrainian group in the UK for Ukraine-related educational and cultural activities – it has been running for over 50 years from their base in Holland Park.

  • Health Prom are working in partnership with Islington Council to provide services, facilities, and resources to Ukrainian nationals living in Islington. Their work will include putting on English classes, supporting people into employment, putting on youth clubs and providing mental health support. To get in touch with their team, please email Diana Mark at

Find Your Islington | Housing Options Team – You can find the contact details for Islington Council’s housing options team here.

The Income Maximisation Team (IMAX) at Islington Council - The IMAX team can support you to set up your benefits correctly. 

You can get in touch with the Housing Advice team at Islington Council by calling 020 7527 2000 or by emailing

To get in touch with the Refugee and Migrant service at Islington Council, please email


Useful links 

How to make an application to join Islington Council's housing register - YouTube

Housing enquiry LBI ( – You can use this link to self-refer yourself to the Council’s Homeless Prevention service if you have not been able to secure accommodation for yourself. If you are at risk of homelessness, it is important you complete this form as soon as possible so that the Housing Solutions team at Islington Council have as much notice as possible to help find a suitable property. 

How to rent - GOV.UK ( – This guide details the process of renting in England. – This guide outlines your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

Citizens Advice Bureau – Citizens Advice Bureau provide free advice on a range of issues, including housing. 

Below are a list of charities that are providing support to refugees looking to settle down in the UK.

You can use entitledto’s benefit calculator to calculate the amount of benefits you are entitled to. For guidance on how to use this calculator, you may find it useful to use this guide

Recognised Providers: Organisations who can help guests from Ukraine find sponsors in the UK - You can use this link to find a list of organisations that are helping to match Ukrainian nationals with hosts in the UK. 

London Rents Map - The London Rents Map shows average monthly private sector rents for different types of home across London. You can use it to help get an idea of where in London you may be able to afford to privately rent a property

Housing advice | Islington Council - This short guide contains useful advice on housing in Islington. 

HomeFinder UK - Homefinder UK are a national housing mobility scheme helping individuals and households who want or need to move. They may be better placed to help you find a home that is more suitable for your personal or financial circumstances. The scheme is available to anyone willing to move nationwide, and you can sign up by following the link.

If you have any questions that are not answered below and have not been covered in this guide, please get in touch with the Refugee and Migrant service by emailing

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