Reader Question: I have space at my French property and would like to give free accommodation to Ukrainian people in need but how would I be protected from charges of undeclared letting or unauthorised property usage etc?
France has set up an official process for hosting people from Ukraine that, if followed, will mean you will not be in breach of any regulations.
This is all carried out via an online government platform called Pour l'Ukraine.
This platform also allows people to donate to certified charities, organise collections of items to provide to people from Ukraine, volunteer to do translations, etc.
The web page linked here sets out how you can offer accommodation to someone from Ukraine.
What should I expect when signing up to be a host?
The French government states that hosting a person or family from Ukraine is a “major commitment that requires a high level of availability and an aptitude for living in a community setting”.
It states that you will play a role in helping the person or people to integrate into France and the local area.
People who want to be a host must be able to prove certain financial means and also prove that the housing conditions that they have available are suitable.
How does hosting work?
Read our article here explaining France Connect if you do not know what this is: What is FranceConnect?
The form will ask for details about yourself and the accommodation you are offering.
Once you have filled it in, your details will be passed on to the local authorities.
If you are chosen to be a host, the procedure will be managed by a local association that has been designated as being in charge of hosting, as well as to the local prefecture.
This means that the local authorities will be aware that you are a host and will ensure everything is in order in terms of housing rules.
The local association will help manage the process and will also act as the first port of call if there are any issues.
If the process of signing up to host someone is too complicated for you, then it could be that you are not in the best situation to be a host.
This is because hosts will likely have to offer their guests bureaucratic or administrative help, or help organise things like schooling, obtaining healthcare, etc. It is a responsibility and requires people to be adept at navigating life in France and French services.
What accommodation is prioritised?
A full house or flat
Available for a period of three months or more
Other accommodation proposals will be considered but will not be priority options.
Will I be matched with a guest immediately?
You will not necessarily be matched with someone immediately. It could be days, weeks, months or even not at all - it all depends on the needs in the area where you are.
Financial aid for hosting
Unlike some other countries, including the UK, up to now host families have not received any financial help.
However, the government announced in early October that hosts will be provided with financial aid of €150 per month in which they have acted as hosts.
This is due to be rolled out at the end of November.
Initially it will be for people who have been hosts for a period of at least three months in 2022, meaning around 5,000 to 12,000 households will receive payments.
A website will be launched shortly where people can submit their application for the aid.