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Modern Kitchen

Becoming a Host

Everyone who arrives in Ireland seeking refuge will be placed in accommodation. In our experience, coming into a home is the kindest option. 

 

As a host, you are offering someone a safe landing, a warm welcome and a pathway to integration here in Ireland. After you’ve read about what hosting is (and isn’t), read on to learn about the process of becoming a host.

How it works

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth (DCEDIY) oversees the accommodation of displaced Ukrainians in pledged and emergency accommodation. Activation of pledges is undertaken on the state’s behalf by a Consortium of Partners comprising Helping Irish Hosts, The Irish Red Cross (IRC), Peter McVerry Trust and IOM.
 

You can pledge accommodation via the Irish Red Cross Register of Pledges or via the HIH pledge form.

Local Authorities are activating pledges of vacant properties, made via the Offer A Home scheme. Find out more at www.offerahome.ie.


Since April 2023, we are all working in close partnership and learning from each other as we go.  

Pledge with us

We’ve matched over 2,000 Ukrainians in more than a thousand host homes across Ireland, created a vibrant, trusted support network and presented a strong voice in advocacy for hosts at all levels. Our range of supports and resources are open to all hosts and guests, however their match came about. 

We have a robust process to onboard and support hosts and guests and make matches - safely and sustainably, with proven policies and procedures in place to safeguard all parties.

 

You can register by completing our pledge form where we’ll invite you to tell us about the space you can offer, your expectations of hosting and why you want to do it. We use this info to figure out a potential match for you.

Matchmaking

Once you’ve submitted your pledge, our team will be in touch within a week with some questions about your residence and location. This is a good time to raise any specifics and talk through what guest(s) would be most suited to your home.

 

When a suitable guest is identified, one of our Matchmakers will contact you with all the relevant details. Please don't feel under pressure to accept at this stage if you're unsure. Take your time and ask additional questions if needed. Once the host agrees to proceed, the Matchmaker contacts the guest, presenting the offer.

If both parties are happy to go ahead, your Matchmaker will set up a Whatsapp group to allow you to get to know one another. We strongly advise an in-person meeting or video call at this stage. You can then agree on a timeframe to welcome your guest.

You are then asked to review and complete the Home Sharing Agreement and return it to your Matchmaker before your guest has moved in.

 

We’ll move at your pace, answer any questions and make sure you have a thorough understanding of what's involved before the match is made.

Host Support

After the move in date, your Matchmaker hands your file over to our Host Support team who will be on hand to provide ongoing guidance and support to you and your guest throughout your time together.

We provide support through check-in calls, newsletters, guides and resources. We also run biweekly online drop-in sessions and monthly masterclasses on topics relevant to hosting.

 

We invite all hosts to join our private Host Support group on Facebook, which is a space for hosts to support one another  and share practical tips and info.

Important Things to Know about Matching

We take matching seriously. It takes time and careful effort to make matches that will be safe and sustainable for both parties. Here are a few things to keep in mind when submitting your pledge to host.

 

  • The time it takes for us to find a potential match varies based on many different factors. We appreciate each and every pledge we receive, however sometimes we will let a pledger know that we’re unable to find a suitable match for them, for example if a pledge property is in a rural location with no buses or links to support services. We appreciate your patience throughout this process.

 

  • Most of our guests have travelled with other family members or a friend so most applications for accommodation we receive are for 2+ people, whereas most of our host applications are to accommodate one single female guest. If you’ve only applied to host one person it might be worth reflecting on whether it's within your means to increase this to two. We often hear from hosts that it's actually easier to host two relatives or even a couple as they have each other for support and company and therefore aren’t as reliant on the host. Other guest profiles we struggle to match include; guests with pets, mothers with babies or toddlers, young adult guests, male guests, elderly guests, and guests with disabilities. If you are willing to host any of these profiles, please let us know.

  • Those seeking accommodation are screened for suitability for hosting through our detailed questionnaire, interview process and ID verification. We ask all sorts of questions about their background, experience in Ireland to date, their future plans and what they hope to achieve from living in hosted accommodation. We try our best to educate guests on what hosting means so they have realistic expectations and understand what is required on their part to support a sustainable match. We have a robust process in place, however it’s worth bearing in mind that when it comes to hosting, a certain leap of faith is required on both parts! 

 

  • The majority of guest move-in’s go smoothly but please bear in mind that some guests may find the whole process quite unsettling. They are coming to the home of someone they’ve never met and know very little about and they may be filled with all sorts of anxieties. Sometimes guests panic at the last minute and prefer to stay where they are rather than face the unknown. Please don’t be offended by this, or let it put you off hosting altogether! We’ll continue working with you until we find the right fit.

  • If you have any questions about your pledge or the matching process, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us: hello@helpingirishhosts.com

A Note on Unaccompanied Minors

If a child (under 18) arrives in Ireland on their own, Tusla will take them into their care and the child will be provided with certain financial and other support. If the child arrived with family or a guardian and has subsequently left in the care of someone with the parent's consent, they are not Tusla's concern and will not be provided with financial or other support. Their care is the responsibility of the person the parents have authorised.

Helping Irish Hosts will never place unaccompanied children under the age of 18 in the care of a Host. They will always be accompanied by a legal guardian, usually their mother.

Garda Vetting for Hosts

If someone under 18 is coming to stay with you, everyone in your household over the age of 16 is legally required to be Garda Vetted by Helping Irish Hosts or whoever is matching you. This applies even if you have current Garda Vetting from your employer or a Community Group. 

 

It is a statutory requirement that all individuals, volunteers or paid, working with Children and Vulnerable Persons have completed Garda vetting clearance before engaging with an Organisation or services. 

 

Anyone hosting children will be Garda vetted by Helping Irish Hosts through our vetting partner, Dublin South Volunteer Centre (DSVC). If a Garda vetting applicant is aged 16 or 17, the relevant documentation must be accompanied by a Parental/Guardian Consent form (NVB 3). Don't worry, we will send you all the information you need when we speak to you about hosting.


When the relevant checks have been completed, a Garda vetting disclosure will be returned to Helping Irish Hosts by our vetting partner, DSVC. HIH will then follow the procedures outlined in our Child Welfare and Safeguarding policy.

You are not required to be Garda vetted if your arrangement is a private agreement between you and a friend or family member. If you’ve made an arrangement in this way, it is not possible or required to seek to be vetted retrospectively.

Accommodation Recognition Payment (ARP)

The Government ARP is a ‘recognition payment’ for hosts who are accommodating someone who is here under Temporary Protection (BOTPs). Applying for the ARP is an easy process that simply requires the PPS numbers of you and your guests, as well as a MyGovID. You can apply online here or contact the ARP office requesting a paper version to be posted to you.

Often proof of address is required for your guests so they may need to register their new address with Intreo before the payment is approved. To do this, guests will need a letter from you or the organisation that matched you (i.e. HIH/ Irish Red Cross, etc) confirming that they are residing as guests at your address under the Accommodation Recognition Programme.

  • The payment is €800 per property where there is at least one person being hosted. Regardless of the number of people being hosted, only 1 payment is made per Eircode. To be eligible there must be at least one person being hosted on the last day of the calendar month for which payment is due. 

  • ARP is paid directly to your bank account, one month in arrears, on the second Tuesday of the month

  • The accommodation must be in the Republic of Ireland.

  • The accommodation must be provided for at least 6 months and  is required to meet certain standards, see here.

  • It is not means tested and is tax free. ARP is not taken into account in the means test for any grants or payments from the Department of Social Protection or other public bodies. 

  • You cannot receive this payment if there is a rental agreement in place with the person being hosted. ARP is not affected by guests contributing to utilities such as electricity or food. 

 

Please note HIH has no involvement with the ARP scheme, it is administered by the Department of Social Welfare so if you need to check the status of your application or close it when your guests leave, please contact them directly on 0818708090 or email ARP@welfare.ie.

 

If you have other questions about the scheme or about accommodation standards, contact the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) by phone on (01) 6473000 or by email at ukrainerecognitionpayment@equality.gov.ie

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