Scotland's support for displaced people from Ukraine: Super Sponsor Scheme review

Following the Scottish super sponsor scheme pause and review, this paper outlines the interventions that have been identified to improve the scheme and support offered to displaced people from Ukraine.

Next Steps

31. Scotland has a wealth of experience from previous refugee and resettlement schemes. The Scottish Government and its partners, including third sector and community volunteers, are firmly committed to providing all those arriving with the compassion and care they so rightly deserve.

32. By working with partners to design and implement the 16 specific interventions identified by the review of the super sponsor scheme, we aim to improve the performance of the scheme, empowering those arriving with clear advice, support and improved access to longer-term housing options thereby reducing dependency on short-term accommodation.

33. It should be recognised this work is set in a particularly challenging fiscal environment, where the cost of living crisis and rising inflation means the Scottish Government's budget is now worth around £1.7 billion less than when it was set in December. For this reason, the Scottish Government continually reviews its temporary accommodation estate to ensure we are providing the best support to people while ensuring good value for the public purse. Hotels booked in the early stages of the programme for example, to ensure the immediate supply of accommodation, will also be part of this work to consolidate our short-term accommodation estate.

34. We do not want anyone to stay in hotel or ship accommodation longer than necessary. It is clear that a settled home is a better longer term outcome. As part of reducing dependency on hotels, we will set clearer expectations that stays are short-term and only until longer term settled accommodation is secured, with improved prioritisation of limited accommodation capacity for those most in need. With many arrivals now in employment or receipt of social security benefits, we will also consider the introduction of more formalised time-limits, adjust the provision of hospitality and/ or seek contributions where appropriate. This will also promote alignment of the offer with guest experience in private host homes, as well as those living in other temporary rented accommodation.

35. To further boost the supply of volunteer hosts we will also launch a Scotland-specific campaign to secure new hosts, with clearer advice and support to hosts as well as improved geographical targeting, therefore seeking to encourage volunteers to come forward while improving the likelihood of successful matches aligned to displaced people's expectations.

36. Recognising the barriers facing arrivals to access the private rental sector, we will also bring forward and pilot a range of interventions such as one-off grants, deposit guarantees or national headleasing. And we will continue to prioritise investment in social housing and work with local authorities and registered social landlords to make best possible use of the dedicated £50 million 'Ukraine Longer-Term Resettlement Fund'.

37. The Scottish Government is working with national and local partners, including the Ukraine Senior Oversight Group, which has senior responsibility for overseeing the Warm Scots Welcome programme, and New Scots, which oversees the implementation of Scotland's refugee strategy, to review our governance structures and ensure implementation of all 16 interventions is sensitively and robustly managed. As part of this, the Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees continues to maintain a regular, open and positive dialogue with the Consul General of Ukraine in Edinburgh.

38. In recognition of the expertise and capacity right across Scotland, a new Ministerial-led Reference Group will also be established to ensure wide feedback and participation from the fullest range of stakeholders with an active interest, including wider third sector and volunteer communities and of course representatives of the Ukrainian community in Scotland.

39. Data on the operational performance of the scheme is continually collated and monitored by officials and partners. The impacts of these interventions will therefore be reviewed against these national and local datasets which are also published transparently and routinely on the Scottish Government website, such as the number of arrivals, the occupancy rates of short-term accommodation and numbers being successfully placed into longer-term accommodation.

November 2022



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