The war in Ukraine has highlighted the plight of refugees from war and those seeking asylum oppression and persecution all over the world. The fact that Ukraine is on the edge of Europe has chilling reminders of World War Two. While writing this, a staggering 4 million people have become refugees from Ukraine. At the same time, people here in the UK have been registering their interest in providing a safe place in their homes for Ukranian refugees – 100,000 signed up on the government website on the same day!
Providing Accommodation In The UK For Refugees – Static Caravans
Many UK people are keen to help by providing accommodation for Ukranian refugees in their homes or in accommodation on their property in the UK. Currently the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme / Homes for Ukraine allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor.
Used off site static caravans are now being suggested by some as possible temporary accommodation for Ukrainian refugees and those of other nationalities fleeing war and legally entering the UK. This is because:
– There is an abundance of used static caravans for sale off site in the UK.
– Static caravans are completely self-contained with all the home comforts – bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, large lounge, and many have central heating and double glazing.
– They are portable, movable structures, so can be taken quickly to where they are needed and removed again when they are no longer needed.
– No building work is required, and minimum pitch preparation is required, meaning that static caravans have a relatively low impact on the land, preparation costs are low, and they can be sited quickly.
– There are different sizes and different number of bedrooms e.g., 28×10 ft / 2 bedrooms, 35x 10 / 3-bedrooms, widths or 12 and 23 ft, and lengths up to 38 or 40 ft. This means that they can accommodate families of different sizes.
– Static caravans have a re-sale value which means that when thy are no longer needed to house refugees e.g., the family has found a more permanent solution, the caravans can be sold and removed. Buyers can, for example, sell them back to the static caravan company they purchased them from – this may be even easier if they are purchased on a Buy Back scheme. Owners can also choose to sell their used static caravan privately.
– They don’t have an impact on existing housing areas, and it is likely that they may not require planning permission, which can take time and be difficult to obtain.
The Possibility Of Housing Refugees In Static Caravans On Your Land In The UK
If you would like to provide accommodation for refugees in the UK currently, the main options are:
– Anyone in the UK, of any nationality, can apply under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, providing they have at least six months leave to remain in the UK I.e., you must be able to host the refugees in your own home or in another property, for at least six months: Applicants will be vetted by the UK government, and by way of financial assistance, households hosting Ukranian refugees in the UK will be offered £350 (tax-free) per month for up to 12 months, regardless of the number of refugees they are hosting.
– If you don’t personally know anyone fleeing Ukraine but still want to help, you can find out more on the government’s website here.
– Other questions are answered on the government’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-frequently-asked-questions .
Other Ways To Help Ukranian Refugees With Housing
If you’d like more information about other ways you can help Ukranian refugees, here are some relevant charities:
Refugees at Home, This charity connects those with a spare room in their home to refugees and asylum seekers in need of somewhere to stay.
Positive Action in Housing. A Ukraine Families & Young People Sponsorship Request Form.
Room for Refugees, a community hosting network that offers safe, temporary homes and pastoral support for insecurely-housed refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable groups.
Shelter 4 Ukraine, Shelter4ua is a web application designed by a group of volunteers aimed to connect temporarily displaced people from Ukraine and foreigners who can provide them a shelter.
Reset Communities and Refugees helps register and match refugees from Ukraine with sponsors across the UK.
FAQs About Static Caravans
If you’re thinking about possibly offering temporary housing for Ukranian refugees in a static caravan on your land, here are some brief FAQs and answers:
Do I need planning permission for a static caravan?
It is unlikely that you would need panning permission for a static caravan parked in your residential drive or sited in your garden (but not a separated paddock), if it is used by occupants who continue to use the facilities of the main house provided they are:
- Members of your household
- Close family
- Other short term non-paying guests.
Since the static caravan remains moveable i.e., not plumbed-in for water and drainage, and not used as the primary/only place for your showering and cooking facilities, planning permission probably wouldn’t be required. For example, if a static caravan was on your own land / on the drive / in the garden while house renovation was under way and living in the house wasn’t safe, or practically possible due to the building work, but the house’s showering and cooking facilities were still usable, or these facilities were housed in another outbuilding and were usable there, it is unlikely that planning permission would be required.
Is there a wide choice of off-site static caravans available to choose from?
Yes, we have dozens of used off site static caravans of different sizes, 2 and 3-bedroom models, at a range of different prices, in stock and available to view at our Somerset and Devon show grounds now.
If you would like to discuss buying a static caravan as temporary accommodation e.g., for Ukranian or other refugees, please contact us on 01278 780565.