Ukrainians struggling to rent privately in UK, reveals ONS

Office for National Statistics says refugees face difficulties due to lack of guarantors or references

Ukrainian refugees in the UK are experiencing difficulties accessing private rented accommodation because they are unable to secure guarantors or references, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

The ONS surveyed nearly 3,000 Ukrainians who fled Russia’s invasion of their country to live in the UK under two visa schemes.

The assessment looked at opinions and experiences of those arriving in the UK under the family and “homes for Ukraine” sponsorship schemes.

The schemes allow Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK to live with a named sponsor who can provide accommodation for a minimum of six months.

Most respondents say they live with a sponsor – 59% compared with 17% who are renting from a private landlord.

However, the ONS said 45% of respondents had experienced barriers to accessing private rented accommodation with “not having a guarantor or references” being the most common reason.

One in four respondents – 24% of about 3,000 – say they have changed address since moving to the UK with the most common reason (34% of about 710) being they could now afford to live without being hosted.

However, about one in six (16% of about 710) say they have relationship difficulties with their sponsor.

Half of respondents say they expect to stay in the UK for three years or longer.

The survey also revealed increasing numbers could speak English fluently or a fair amount, rising to 57% from 44% in June 2022.

Most adults (56%) reported working in the UK, a significant increase from 19% in June. However, half of respondents experienced difficulties taking up work with the main challenge being English-language skills not meeting job requirements (56%) and qualifications not being recognised or valid in the UK (33%).

About 60% of visa holders report having enough money to support themselves and their dependants for the next three months, which the ONS said was a significant increase from 37% in June.

Most respondents (72%) said overall they had either very good or good physical and mental health.

The minister for housing and homelessness, Felicity Buchan, said: “Our commitment to the Ukrainian people remains steadfast and I am pleased to see so many of those we welcomed to the UK have settled well into their communities.

“The fact that 94% of Ukrainians are satisfied with their accommodation speaks volumes of the generosity of our sponsors and I want to thank our hosts, community groups and councils across the country who have supported Ukrainians.

“We are engaging with landlord organisations to resolve any issues on renting to Ukrainians and have provided guidance and local authority funding that can be used for this. Where this is not possible councils have a duty to ensure no Ukrainian family is left without a roof over their head.”


Jamie Grierson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Ukrainians denied entry to UK despite being eligible for visa
British citizens trying to bring their families to the UK are grappling bureaucracy in Paris despite new visa rules

Diane Taylor

28, Feb, 2022 @3:11 PM

Article image
Number of Ukrainians eligible to enter UK to double, say ministers
Further relaxing of rules could allow in up to 200,000 relatives of Ukrainian nationals, government claims

Aubrey Allegretti Rajeev Syal and Jon Henley

01, Mar, 2022 @5:20 PM

Article image
Changes to UK visa rules for Ukrainians called ‘shameful’ by Labour
Many close relatives in Ukraine of British nationals do not meet criteria for entry despite No 10 promises

Andrew Sparrow, Diane Taylor and Lisa O'Carroll

27, Feb, 2022 @11:40 PM

Article image
UK takes in fewer Ukrainians per capita than most of Europe
Figure of 10 Ukrainian refugees per 10,000 population is lowest but one out of 28 European countries

David Blood

03, Jun, 2022 @5:00 AM

Article image
UK refugee scheme could lead to exploitation of Ukrainians, say experts
Promise of ‘light touch’ checks prompts fears traffickers could see arrival of mostly women and children as opportunity

Jessica Elgot and Rajeev Syal

15, Mar, 2022 @8:27 PM

Article image
Prioritise mental health support for Ukrainians arriving in UK, experts say
Many refugees will require emotional support as soon as they arrive in countries such as Britain

Nicola Davis Science correspondent

20, Mar, 2022 @1:00 PM

Article image
Extended visa scheme launched to let Ukrainians join family in UK
Plans for humanitarian refugee scheme to help those without UK relatives yet to be announced

Amelia Gentleman and Diane Taylor

04, Mar, 2022 @7:39 PM

Article image
UK resettlement scheme for Ukrainians is a ‘disgrace’, says Briton in Lviv
Ministers’ claims about visa scheme’s success ‘does not match reality on the ground’

Aubrey Allegretti Political correspondent

25, Mar, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
Calls for Ukrainians living on cruise ship in Scotland to be quickly rehoused
MS Victoria is temporary solution to host refugees but there are concerns about small rooms and seasickness

Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent

28, Jul, 2022 @1:46 PM

Article image
Ukrainians who come to UK illegally could be sent to Rwanda, Johnson says
PM had previously said deportations were ‘simply not going to happen’ but now admits in theory they could

Rajeev Syal in Kigali and Diane Taylor

23, Jun, 2022 @9:30 PM