Ukrainian refugees sleeping rough as council cash is cut

Thousands of Ukrainian refugees who have settled in the UK face being made homeless unless they receive more help, No.10 has been warned.

More than 70 MPs from across the political spectrum have called for action after it emerged 4,295 Ukrainian households have contacted councils for help to keep a roof over their heads.

The amount that local authorities receive for each refugee from the invaded country was reduced by the government in December from £10,500 to £5,900.

And the MPs urged: ‘In the midst of the cost of living crisis, there are growing concerns that increasing numbers of arrivals are facing homelessness or destitution.’

More than 162,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK since Russia attacked last year and the group including former home secretary Priti Patel praised the government’s efforts to help them.

But they said more is needed to ensure they have ‘safe and secure’ places to live.

Refugee Anfisa Vlasova has become homeless since arriving in May with her four Yorkshire Terriers.

She was put up by a family in Berkshire and when her stay ended she was offered a place with an elderly man but it didn’t work out.

She is now sleeping rough with her dogs. ‘They are my emotional support,’ she told Sky News. ‘I already lost everything in the war. Since I came here, just I had six months of quite peaceful life with my host family and I am really very appreciative to those people but later on, it’s a nightmare.’

Matt Downie, head of homelessness charity Crisis, urged ministers to consider the introduction of ‘a dedicated refugee resettlement strategy’.

The government said councils ‘have a legal duty to ensure no families are left without a roof over their heads’ and help was in place to support them.

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