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Safe Homes: EU funding supports private hosting initiatives for people fleeing Ukraine

Fleeing Russia’s war of aggression

“When Vera and Fjodor,” an elderly Ukrainian couple, “left Kharkiv, they were in a truly difficult situation,” says their host, Veronika, from Slovakia. They had nothing but a bag as they travelled across Ukraine, not knowing where they would end up. They had already spent some time in Nižná Myšľa, a village in the Košice region of Slovakia, when Veronika found out that they had nowhere to go and offered them a place through the Slovak Red Cross – one of the implementing organisations of the Safe Homes Programme.

Similarly, Yuliia and Ousmane arrived in Luxembourg with their two children in March 2022, at the beginning of Russia’s full-scale military aggression against Ukraine. Upon their arrival, they immediately reached out to the Luxembourgish Red Cross, which found them a host family within a month. Since then, their mother/grandmother has joined them.

Providing safe homes for displaced people

These are just two out of many families who found a haven in Europe through the EU funded Safe Homes Programme. This EUR 5.5 million project bolsters the European Commission’s Safe Homes initiative, implemented to support private housing actions for Ukrainian refugees in cooperation with public authorities and the private sector.

The programme also helps implement and builds on the Safe Homes guidance, published by the Commission in July 2022. Developed to help Member States, regional and local authorities, as well as the civil society actors involved, the project assesses housing needs, maps private hosting initiatives, and defines effective matching processes. It also ensures access to healthcare, education, and other social services for displaced people, while providing support to the hosts, and helping them cope with issues such as host fatigue.

Moreover, the programme aims to enhance stakeholder engagement, while developing good practices and a handbook from which public authorities and implementing partners can draw upon when contemplating similar schemes in the future.

The EU stands with Ukraine

The programme was announced by Commissioner Johansson during the High-Level Forum on legal pathways to protection in 2022 and is implemented by the International Federation of the Red Cross. It currently runs in Belgium, France, Ireland, Hungary, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.


The reinforcement of the Safe Homes initiative follows the European Commission’s proposed financial support of EUR 50 billion over the next four years and extension of temporary protection for people fleeing Ukraine to 3 March 2025. It is part of a set of actions put in place to provide certainty and support for millions of displaced people and ensure their continued access to housing, the labour market, education, medical and social assistance.

More information

EU support to Ukraine.

Link:, dated October 13, 2023 1:43 pm

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