A total of 14 Ukrainian families have presented themselves as homeless in Stockton since arriving as refugees in the UK.

Stockton Council revealed the figure when asked by the Local Democracy Reporting Service to provide an update on the latest position.

It said 130 refugees fleeing the war-torn country were currently living in the borough as part of 41 hosting arrangements.

Where arrangements fail, councils have a duty to ensure that people are not left without a roof over their heads and they can recoup costs relating to settling individuals, which can involve temporary accommodation such as hotels and B&Bs.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

The council said all cases were assessed and confirmed it had been called upon to provide temporary accommodation, as appropriate, in accordance with homelessness legislation.

The Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, launched in March, allows people living in the UK to sponsor a named Ukrainian national, or family, to come and live with them, providing they have suitable accommodation to host them.

They are granted visas and have access to public services, such as medical treatment and education, work and benefits.

Initial arrangements last six months, the idea being that after that the refugees go onto rent their own homes, renew the arrangement if necessary, or match with another host.

According to estimates, about 14,000 Ukrainians will come to the end of their six month period by Christmas with figures in late autumn showing that 1,915 had already declared themselves homeless to local authorities, having failed to find somewhere else to live.

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Stockton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said: “The council has a long-standing track record of supporting vulnerable people who are in need of a safe place to rebuild their lives.

“Where practical the council will arrange a meeting between families seeking accommodation and a prospective host or help them to secure alternative, independent housing. 

“We will also carry out an inspection of the relevant property and safeguarding checks.

“Of course as with anyone facing homelessness, we support all families and individuals who are homeless, or who are threatened with homelessness, to ensure they have some form of accommodation.”

Meanwhile, Redcar and Cleveland Council said there were 78 Ukrainian nationals living in the borough as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

It said there had been five families who had moved out of original placements and required temporary accommodation, but were now settled in longer-term accommodation.

A council spokesman said: “Householders from right across the borough have opened their homes for Ukrainian people fleeing the appalling war in their country and are continuing to do so. 

“We have been able to respond to issues for individual families as they have arisen and are pleased to say we are not experiencing major rehousing problems that other councils may be facing at this time.”

Recently, Middlesbrough Council said 59 refugees had arrived in the town since the conflict in Ukraine began in February.

It said 44 people were being hosted in homes as part of the Government scheme and were still within their first six months.

Another 12 had found their own accommodation at the end of their stay with hosts and four refugees had moved to different local authority areas with their sponsors.

The council said four sponsorship agreements broke down completely, meaning Ukrainians had to leave hosts’ homes early.

They had transferred to hotels/temporary accommodation, their own accommodation, or had matched with new sponsors.

Every person arriving from Ukraine has access to a £200 interim payment to help with subsistence costs, provided by the relevant local council.

For their part, hosts can access a £350 ‘thank you’ payment through the Government scheme should an arrangement extend up to 12 months.

The Government previously described a “humanitarian crisis” and has said there is no limit or cap on numbers via the sponsorship route.

It also said a “substantial level of funding” had been made available to councils so they can provide wider support to families to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into communities.