Welsh Government wants more people to open their homes to Ukrainian refugees

Social justice minister Jane Hutt says "it's vital that more households to come forward." Credit: PA Images.

The Welsh Government has issued an appeal for more families to open their homes to Ukrainian refugees.

As it stands, the number of Ukrainians offered private home shelter has reached 2,860.

Meanwhile the Welsh Government is housing 2,804 people across 40 sites. They include a number of activity centres, hotels and holiday parks.

More than 8,200 visas have now been granted to people fleeing the war in Ukraine who have sponsors in Wales. Only around 5,650 of those have so far made it to the UK.

The Welsh Government says more homes are needed to accommodate the number of new arrivals. More people are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

Social justice minister Jane Hutt has thanked those who have already opened their doors to Ukrainian refugees. Credit: ITV News Wales.

Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, hosts initially committed to housing someone for six months. A survey by the Office of National Statistics found a quarter of hosts - around 700 households - said they would not continue hosting past that period.

The Welsh Government's social justice minister Jane Hutt said: "In order to ensure a warm welcome to Wales, I'm issuing an invitation to households across Wales to come forward an open their homes to welcome those seeking sanctuary.

"We're immensely thankful to all those across Wales who are acting as hosts to Ukrainians, but it's vital that more households to come forward."

Hosts should receive £350 a month from the UK Government but Welsh ministers are calling for that amount to be doubled, due to cost of living pressures.

Ministers and charities have warned that if more support is not offered tens of thousands of Ukrainian families could become homeless as the first six-month placements come to an end.

Airbnb is providing short-term emergency accommodation incase councils can't find anywhere quick enough. Currently, these properties are available in five areas, but more are expected in the rest of the 22 council areas by next month.

A Host Support scheme has now been set up to provide training and advice to people hosting or considering hosting.

Meanwhile, thousands of Ukrainians are said to be settling and integrating well in Wales.

According to the Welsh Government, around 40% of Ukrainian refugees in Wales are now in some form employment, just under 5,000 are registered with GPs and most children who have arrived are now enrolled in mainstream education.

Jane Hutt added: "I completely understand that there are those who want to help but may not have the resources to do so, given the circumstances we're all facing with the cost-of-living crisis. We will continue to communicate with those who host Ukrainians, with updated guidance and information to support the valuable role you are undertaking.

"To all those that are already hosting and to those that are considering hosting, thank you, we owe you all a huge debt of gratitude."