100,000 Brits sign up to house Ukrainian refugees
Over 100,000 households signed up to the UK government's 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme just a day after it was launched, offering a place to stay for refugees fleeing conflict with Russia.
The UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities praised the "generosity of the British public." British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it "fantastic," after the large number of sign-ups caused the website to crash minutes after it went live.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme, which began on Monday, gives UK citizens the opportunity to offer to host refugees in their property for a minimum of six months. In return, hosts will be given a £350 ($457.49) "thank you" payment tax free per month.
Applications must be made online via the website and are subject to the government vetting both the homeowners and the refugees to ensure that they are both acceptable for the scheme.
To support the anticipated influx of Ukrainians, local authorities in the UK will also be given more than £10,000 ($13,070) per Ukrainian housed in their area to help cover the cost of services, such as education and health.
The sizeable support from UK citizens comes as the British government faces criticism for its slow response to the flow of people fleeing Ukraine. The United Nations has estimated that more than 3 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian troops began their military assault last month.
In contrast to the 100,000 Brits ready to house Ukrainians, the UK government has only issued 4,000 visas under the alternative Ukraine Family Scheme. This visa process allows relatives of British nationals or people settled in the UK to apply to enter Britain.