Fearing, fleeing, facing the future:

How people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine are finding safety in the UK

Our report celebrates the UK’s response to people fleeing Ukraine while highlighting areas needing urgent attention.

Our report, Fearing, fleeing, facing the future: how people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine are finding safety in the UK, reflects on the UK’s Ukraine Visa Schemes one year since the escalation of the conflict.

People across the UK have demonstrated the power of kindness by opening their homes to people fleeing the conflict, and many continue to accommodate people successfully. However, there have been various shortcomings in the UK’s response, which need to be urgently addressed for the benefit of hosts and arrivals alike.

This report is informed by our significant operational insight helping more than 60,000 people displaced from Ukraine arriving in the UK over the past 12 months as well as publicly available data.

Further research commissioned by the British Red Cross explores the extent, risks, and causes of homelessness among displaced Ukrainians in the UK.  Read the research.

Key findings

1. Those hosting family members through the Ukraine Family Scheme do not receive monthly ‘thank you’ payments, despite hosting a third of new arrivals.

Neither are they protected from rising council tax. We have supported hosts and guests struggling to afford the extra costs associated with additional household members to access foodbanks and with emergency cash.

2. 4,295 Ukrainian households have been at risk of or experienced homelessness in England between March 2022 and January 2023.

Of these, 2,985 were households with children. There was a 97% increase in Ukrainian households experiencing, or being at risk of, homelessness in England between October 2022 and January 2023.

3. 81% of Homes for Ukraine hosts reported challenges helping their guests look for private rented accommodation when surveyed in November 2022.

While similar data is unavailable for the Ukraine Family Scheme, we have helped many people under the scheme who have been struggling to find suitable accommodation.

4. Many sponsors cannot afford to continue hosting, especially with added cost-of-living pressures.

Twice as many Homes for Ukraine hosts said the rising costs of living were ‘very much’ (18%) impacting their ability to provide support in November 2022, when compared to July 2022 (9%).

Our recommendations

We recommend the UK, devolved and local governments take immediate action in five key areas:

  • Create parity between the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine
  • Support people displaced by the conflict into longer term housing
  • Address the impact of the rising cost of living on hosts and arrivals
  • Invest in better data and evidence to monitor and evaluate the UK’s response
  • Ensure learnings are used to inform current and future policy responses to displacement, including resettlement, family reunion and asylum.

Homelessness among displaced Ukrainians in the UK: Summary of research findings

Many Ukrainians have faced challenges trying to settle in the UK, transitioning from hosting arrangements to longer-term living. As a result, many Ukrainians in the UK have spent time in temporary or unsuitable living conditions and a growing number are now experiencing homelessness. 

The British Red Cross has commissioned research by Professor Glen Bramley at Heriot-Watt University to explore housing and homelessness in displaced Ukrainians in the UK. The research pulls together a range of datasets to understand the extent, risks, and reasons for homelessness in this group, and projects future homelessness rates. 

You can read the full summary, key findings, and recommendations of this research by downloading the PDF below. 

Download the research summary (PDF)