A Cambridge City Council website

Cambridge City Council

Council and democracy

Home > Council and Democracy > Issue

Issue - meetings

Accommodation for Ukrainian Refugees

Meeting: 22/09/2022 - Housing Scrutiny Committee (Item 42)

42 Accommodation for Ukrainian Refugees pdf icon PDF 202 KB

A key decision by the Executive Councillor for Housing is required which has not been on the Forward Plan giving 28 days’ notice of that decision. Under the Constitution, Part 4B-Access to Information Procedure Rules, this decision can still be taken if a notice is given setting out the reasons why compliance with the publicity requirement is impractical.


Officers have been working on a homelessness prevention plan for Ukrainian households and some of the data informing this plan only became available after publication of the forward plan. Consideration of this issue at the next committee in January would risk missing the October/November peak of host arrangements ending as highlighted in the report.


Matter for Decision

In response to the war in Ukraine the Government launched its Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme in March 2022. UK households were invited to host Ukranian refugees for a minimum six-month period or preferably longer. As at 1 September there were 383 guests spread across 203 households in Cambridge City.


These arrangements were not permanent and Ukranian households had initially been offered 3-year visas. The Council is devising a homelessness prevention plan and the potential allocation of a small number of properties formed part of this plan.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.               Approved the allocation of up to 20 Council properties to Ukrainian refugees to support the Council’s homelessness prevention plans and avert the need for temporary accommodation.

ii.             Allowed these allocations to be made outside of the Council’s Lettings Policy.

iii.            Delegated authority to the Head of Housing, in consultation with the Executive Councillor and Opposition Spokespersons, to extend this scheme beyond 20 units, in the event that there is excessive pressure on temporary accommodation.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.


The Head of Housing said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.               If the decision was approved at Committee, then further discussions would take place between the Council and Housing Associations.

ii.             The City Council had Ukrainian speakers within the workforce and external translators were also used to assist Ukrainian refugees.  Officers also hoped to introduce English language support for Ukrainian refugees in the future.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.