Update on arrangements for Ukrainian guestsHomes for Ukraine
19 April 2022
West Northamptonshire Council is continuing to shape arrangements for providing every Ukrainian guest with a £200 payment, as recently announced by the Government.
Under the Government’s Homes for Ukraine initiative, the payment will be given to each guest to cover the cost of immediate essentials, such as food, clothing and toiletries, before universal credit is made available.
The Council is predominantly a ‘cashless organisation’ – meaning it cannot generally conduct physical cash transactions in a timely or low risk way, which also helps prevent vulnerable people from being targeted or taken advantage of. It has opted to initially distribute the payments using a voucher system that has already successfully been in place for several months to help Afghan nationals resettling in West Northants. The vouchers can be redeemed either in store or online at a wide range of outlets.
Following recent feedback, the Council is also looking at other options for making payments, including the possibility of a pre-paid card, and will update guests and host families in the coming days if this alternative can work with its existing systems.
Councillor David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement and regulatory services, said: “Our arrangements for supporting Ukrainian refugees are only a few weeks old and the situation is changing rapidly.
“We’ve put in place the voucher scheme which has worked really well for seven months as part of our Afghan Resettlement Scheme, recognised as having some of the best provision across the whole of the UK.
“We’ve recently received feedback that we need to look at alternatives, so we’re looking at this and hope to have news on this in the coming days. For example we are considering a pre-paid card which can be used like a debit card, but we have to look at what is workable in distributing the Government payments quickly and effectively."