Written evidence submitted by NACCOM


The No Accommodation Network (NACCOM) is a UK-wide network of frontline charities, including 31 hosting organisations, providing accommodation and support to destitute people in the asylum and immigration system.

For many years, members of the No Accommodation Network (NACCOM) have been operating hosting schemes that enable people within the asylum and immigration system to find the safety and stability they need to move on from homelessness and destitution and rebuild their lives. Across 2022-23, hosting schemes within NACCOM accommodated 2,060 people, of which 1,206 were Ukrainian nationals.

This submission of written evidence summarises our reflections on the roll out and delivery of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which had both a direct and in-direct impact on hosting services across the network.

NACCOM’s initial concerns

On April 22nd 2022, NACCOM, on behalf of 16 organisations with years of experience delivering hosting schemes, wrote to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities to express our initial concerns about aspects of Homes for Ukraine.[1]

Although there is no doubt that the Homes for Ukraine scheme provided an urgent and much-needed emergency pathway to safety for Ukrainians wishing to come to the UK, and that setting up a UK-wide hosting scheme at pace came with challenges, NACCOM believed that the Government’s failure to consult with organisations with expertise and experience in delivering hosting had resulted in support and safeguarding flaws in the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Building on the expertise of the network, we drew attention to key aspects of the scheme that warranted improvement, such as the matching process between hosts and guests, safeguarding of guests, the level, type and access to support available to both hosts and guests, and issues with the longer-term housing pathways for people seeking sanctuary, followed by recommendations that NACCOM and its members believed would improve the scheme and ensure its safe and effective running.

For example, NACCOM hosting projects have a clear and robust approach to safeguarding and risk assessments, including the vetting of both guests and hosts and established reporting procedures – and in our letter to the Home Secretary we recommended that more stringent steps were taken to strengthen safeguarding measures in the implementation of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.


Sharing good practice as a network

Another key area of concern for NACCOM was the absence of formal or standardised training and support in place for sponsors receiving vulnerable people into their homes. This led NACCOM to publish two new toolkits in May 2022: ‘Hosting Good Practice Guide: Part 1 – Key considerations for prospective hosts’[2] and ‘Hosting Good Practice Guide: Part 2 – Key considerations for hosts and hosting organisations.’[3]

The second of these toolkits aimed to provide some good practice guidance to ensure that hosts and anyone running a hosting scheme were able to facilitate a safe, supportive, and positive hosting experience for all involved. It included examples of good practice aimed at organisations who were becoming involved in hosting for the first time, such as the employment of dedicated guest and host support workers. Experience shows that these are conducive to maintaining successful hosting placements, yet they were not within the original requirements of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Hope at Home are a NACCOM member providing safe homes for survivors of modern slavery via a hosting programme. Together with Commonweal Housing, Hope at Home commissioned the University of Nottingham to carry out research into hosts’ experiences of the Homes for Ukraine scheme to gather learnings and reflections that could be used to influence the design and delivery of hosting schemes in the future. ‘Homes for Ukraine: learnings to inform and shape future hosting schemes’, [4] was published in March 2023, based on interviews conducted in 31 host households in Autumn 2022.

Several hosts interviewed lamented not receiving training as a standard part of their enrolment in the scheme and described a reliance on training and the sharing of good practice from third sector organisations.

Hosting schemes within the NACCOM network and specifically those that were not formally involved in the Homes for Ukraine scheme - have recounted how this reliance on third sector voluntary organisations to deliver and share their expertise with hosts placed an additional, and unanticipated, pressure on their services.

Considering the stark safeguarding and support concerns, several organisations felt like they couldn’t not assist - irrespective of their capacity, and despite often receiving limited, or no, funding from central or local government to deliver this support and training.

Importance of move on support

In our Hosting Good Practice Guides, we described how hosting work best when the guest is supported to develop a clear move-on plan before the end of their placement.[5][6] Concerningly, 45% of Homes for Ukraine scheme sponsors surveyed by the ONS in August 2023 had not discussed with their guests what would happen after the current hosting arrangement ends.[7]

In our letter to the Secretary of State we emphasized the importance of personal move-on plans for guests, and recommended that Government worked with Councils, the refugee sector, and Ukrainian community groups, to conduct a mapping exercise to understand the housing options for expected need with an agreed set of protocols tailored to the local context.[8]

However, host households interviewed by the University of Nottingham described Government guidance on move-on as being limited in its practical application and feasibility, resulting in a lack of clarity around the longer-term accommodation options for their guests.[9] This was found to place unexpected pressure on many hosts, who had initially only wanted to offer short-term help, but have been unable to find a clear move-on option at the end of the placement due to the wider housing crisis and the lack of appropriate and affordable accommodation options.

Whilst the Homes for Ukraine scheme had initially been offered an initial six-month timeframe (due to end in September 2022), the lack of other available and suitable follow-on accommodation options for guests contributed to its extension. However, hosts interviewed by the University of Nottingham suggested that the scheme’s reliance on hosts extending their hosting period, combined with a lack of robust move-on support for guests, was an unsustainable model for preventing homelessness amongst people seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Accordingly, the Local Government Association has raised concerns with government on the growing number of Ukrainians presenting as homeless to councils at the end of a hosting placement.[10] Government statistics published on August 15th show that 4,440 Ukrainian households arriving via the Homes for Ukraine scheme had reported as homeless in England between June 2022 and July 2023.[11]


Although Homes for Ukraine was an overall success, the Government’s failure to address concerns raised at the outset of the scheme by organisations with experience of delivering hosting appeared to contribute to hosts’ reflections on shortcomings of the scheme; including the limited training available to hosts to help them prepare for hosting, the lack of robust in-placement support for guests and hosts, and the lack of forward planning around guest move-on.[12]

While the Homes for Ukraine scheme was designed and instigated by the state, it relied heavily on the good will of the British public. At the roll out of the scheme, we were also concerned that if the Homes for Ukraine scheme fell short of the expectations of the public, who were generous and compassionate in their response towards refugees from Ukraine by opening their homes to them, the scheme could pose a reputational risk to hosting, and undermine the important role that it plays in providing safe homes and urgent protection and stability to those fleeing persecution, trauma, and conflict. [13] Although further research is required into the longer-term impacts on hosting and host recruitment, post their experience of hosting under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, nearly a quarter of hosts said they would not consider hosting again.[14]

If the Government were to deploy hosting again in the future, we hope that it would take on board host and guest reflections on the Homes for Ukraine scheme and seek greater consultation and collaboration with those organisations with experience and expertise in delivering hosting for people seeking sanctuary.

Hosting must be understood to be a unique and distinct type of accommodation provision that works best within a structured, holistic refugee resettlement pathway, underpinned by a fair and just asylum system, and supported by expert hosting organisations.

November 2023

[1] https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Rt-Hon-Mr-Michael-Gove-MP-NACCOM-Hosting-Letter-FINAL-22.04.2022.pdf

[2] https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/NACCOM-Hosting-Good-Practice-Guide-2022_PART-1-FINAL-1.pdf

[3] https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NACCOM-Hosting-Good-Practice-Guide-Part2-FINAL-MAY-2022.pdf

[4] https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/beacons-of-excellence/rights-lab/resources/reports-and-briefings/2023/march/homes-for-ukraine-learnings-to-inform-and-shape-future-hosting-report.pdf

[5] https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/NACCOM-Hosting-Good-Practice-Guide-2022_PART-1-FINAL-1.pdf

[6] https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NACCOM-Hosting-Good-Practice-Guide-Part2-FINAL-MAY-2022.pdf


[8] https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Rt-Hon-Mr-Michael-Gove-MP-NACCOM-Hosting-Letter-FINAL-22.04.2022.pdf

[9] https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/beacons-of-excellence/rights-lab/resources/reports-and-briefings/2023/march/homes-for-ukraine-learnings-to-inform-and-shape-future-hosting-report.pdf

[10] https://www.lgcplus.com/services/housing/number-of-homeless-ukrainian-refugees-rises-by-almost-20-in-a-month-25-08-2023/

[11] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homelessness-management-information-ukrainian-nationals-england

[12] https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/beacons-of-excellence/rights-lab/resources/reports-and-briefings/2023/march/homes-for-ukraine-learnings-to-inform-and-shape-future-hosting-report.pdf

[13] https://naccom.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Rt-Hon-Mr-Michael-Gove-MP-NACCOM-Hosting-Letter-FINAL-22.04.2022.pdf

[14] https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/beacons-of-excellence/rights-lab/resources/reports-and-briefings/2023/march/homes-for-ukraine-learnings-to-inform-and-shape-future-hosting-report.pdf