After a slow start, says Tom Harwood in The New Statesman, the UK government has knocked it out of the park with its Homes for Ukraine scheme. More than 120,000 people signed up to open their homes to Ukrainian refugees in the first day alone. Counterintuitive as it might sound, this is a “uniquely Conservative way to welcome refugees”. Instead of relying on inefficient government services that result in “ghettoised communities, isolation, and cost to the taxpayer”, the scheme rests on the belief that the individual and the family are the “best units to provide support to those in need”.
And it has the makings of a huge success. When refugees are proudly and easily welcomed into the community – “living with a host family, speaking English, more easily partaking in local life” – it helps people to see refugees for the people they are, rather than something “frightening”. And at present the scheme is significantly oversubscribed, meaning there will be plenty of homes without Ukrainians to fill them. Why not also offer the 12,000 Afghan refugees, “stuck in hotels, unable to find their own accommodation and costing the taxpayer £1.2m every day” a home? “What a win-win-win that would be.” A caring host family for vulnerable people. A saving for the taxpayer. “And a beacon to the world of Global Britain’s generosity at times of crisis.”