Ukrainian Information Centre
Pembrokeshire County Council has a wide range of Housing Support Services available and a large network of supporting agencies that provide additional services for the residents of Pembrokeshire.
Within the Local Authority, the Housing Advice Team provides assistance under The Housing (Wales) Act 2014. They are able to provide advice and assistance to anyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness within 56 days.
We have a social housing register scheme called Choice Homes@Pembrokeshire where applicants can place bids on available social housing, the scheme incorporates Local Authority properties and those from the two Housing Associations: Ateb and Wales and West Housing.
Within the Local Authority the Private Rented Sector Team offer advice to Landlords and Tenants regarding eviction notices, they also carry out Housing Standards Inspections on the conditions of Accommodation within the area.
We work closely with our Housing Support Grant team. We commission services from providers to offer Tenancy Support to those who require assistance to source, manage and maintain a tenancy regardless of tenure.
Accommodation with Host Families
You are currently being accommodated with a host family. The family are only able to claim £350 per month as a thank you from the UK Government up until 12 months after your arrival.
When you are in receipt of an income, for example working and earning wages or getting Universal credit, there is an expectation for you to contribute to the household costs. You should be purchasing your own food or contributing to the weekly food shop costs if this is the agreement you have with your host. You should also be contributing towards the cost of utility bills such as gas, electricity and water rates. The current cost of utility bills is extremely high, which is why it is important you prioritise paying towards them. Again, this is something we encourage you to discuss with your host to agree what is reasonable contribution to make. For more information, see the living expenses fact sheet.
Host families are able to continue to receive the ‘thank you’ payment for up to 12 months. After 12 months, it is expected that longer-term accommodation will have been sourced and secured to allow you to live independently.
What happens if you need to leave your host accommodation early?
If you and your host are no longer able to continue to reside together for whatever reason, you need to let your Lead Worker know at the earliest opportunity. The more time we have to help you find alternative accommodation, the better, as we may not always have accommodation available in the area you are currently residing in.
If you need to leave immediately please see below how to get in touch with us:
- Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm –Ukraine Community Hub 01437 776301 firstname.lastname@example.org or our contact centre on 01437 764551 or email@example.com
- Outside Office Hours – Monday to Friday 5pm to 9am, Saturday and Sunday – 0300 333 2222
If you need to leave at short notice we will try to match you accommodation in the following ways:
- Host Accommodation: We have had a limited number of offers of accommodation of bedrooms with host families. Due to the shortage of affordable accommodation within Pembrokeshire we need to ensure we continue to match you to people who have offered accommodation within their homes. We try to keep you in a similar area to your previous accommodation but this will depend on availability.
- Emergency placements: Sometimes we won’t always have host accommodation available at short notice, therefore we may need to place you in a bed and breakfast or hotel whilst we try to find you an alternative match. This emergency accommodation will be where there are vacancies at the time
Finding alternative accommodation
Your lead worker will undertake a 3 month accommodation review with you and your host to discuss how the hosting is going on both sides and consider your intentions beyond the 6 months. This information will be used to ensure that your long-term accommodation needs are understood. Should it be identified that your hosting arrangement is coming to an end sooner, your lead worker will refer you to a housing officer who can offer specialist advice and support
After residing with your sponsor for the 6 to 12 months, staff from the Housing Service will work with you to assist finding alternative longer-term accommodation. You will have an appointment with a housing officer who will discuss your options with you and identify any specific criteria you may have for your future accommodation. Please be aware that we may not be able to meet all your requirements due to the current demands for housing in Pembrokeshire.
We are hoping to work with host families to identify any placements, which may be able to continue past the 12 months of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme and see whether you are able to come to a more formalised agreement to remain in the accommodation. This may involve becoming a lodger or a ‘tenant’ if your accommodation is self-contained.
If you are not able to remain longer term in your accommodation, then the housing officers will support you to look at other housing options. This is likely to include:
- Private Rented Sector: Accommodation from a private landlord, this is generally self-contained and you would have an agreement with the landlord and pay rent directly to them each month. We may be able to assist you with the upfront costs towards securing this accommodation such as a bond and first month’s rent in advance as long as the property is suitable and affordable. The housing officer will confirm what is deemed suitable and affordable for you based on your individual circumstances.
- Social Housing: Pembrokeshire operate a Choice Homes@Pembrokeshire scheme for social housing which is a combined list for properties owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, Ateb and Wales and West Housing Association. If you would like to remain in Pembrokeshire, all Ukrainian nationals are eligible to join the Choice Homes@Pembrokeshire register. Your housing officer will assist you with completing these forms when necessary. Please be aware there is a huge demand for social housing currently within Pembrokeshire with over 5300 households currently registered waiting for social housing and your wait for this type of accommodation is likely to be very long.
Affording your accommodation
When looking for accommodation you must ensure that, you can afford to pay the rent, utility bills and any other costs associated with the property.
When you become a tenant of any type of accommodation, you will be responsible for paying:
- Council Tax
- TV Licence
- Electricity usage
- Heating fuel costs
- Water and Sewerage
(this list is not exhaustive)
You may be eligible for council tax reduction. More information can be found here:Council Tax reduction
You may be eligible to claim additional financial help towards the costs of the rent through Universal Credit, which is called the Housing Element. If you are working, but have a lower income, you may still be eligible for the Housing Element part of Universal Credit, even if you are not eligible for the personal allowance.
Please see below, as a basic guidance for affordability, the maximum amount of Housing Element you would receive. The rate you will receive is based on the number of bedrooms you require. Your housing officer can advise on this further for your specific requirements.
Number of Bedrooms Required
Maximum Weekly Amount
Single person under the age of 35
1 Bed Requirement - Couple or Single person over the age of 35
Other Organisations/ Agencies
Many other organisations or agencies could assist you. They may be able to assist with finding alternative accommodation or securing furniture/ white goods, we have listed some of them below who you may wish to contact.
- Pathway Lettings: is a Social Lettings Agency (and tenancy mediation service). We assist our clients in searching for housing and offer competitive rates for both landlords & tenants
- FRAME: collects unwanted, re-usable household goods including furniture, clothing and bric-a-brac free of charge. Re-useable items are available to the general public at their showrooms in Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock for a requested donation. Items will be discounted to those receiving State Benefit/Pension, on the production of proof of benefit.
- In cases of extreme hardship or crisis FRAME can provide necessary items of furniture and household goods free of charge. Referrals for this service are accepted in writing from social workers, Pembrokeshire Action for the Homeless (PATH), community support workers, refuges and other recognised agencies. This service is provided subject to the availability of goods and an assessment of need by one of the groups or individuals previously mentioned.
- CAB: Pembrokeshire Citizens Advice is about providing free, independent, confidential, and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.
- Shelter: Charity that provides advice on housing
- SHAPES: provides equipment to enable you to maintain to aid your daily living and maintain your independence at home.