Refugee housing is about more than bricks and mortar. It’s the foundation of the refugee’s relationship to a new home, neighbours and landlords. Getting it right tests the capacity of a community of hosts to open their doors to the newly-arrived and the needs of those who have left everything behind.
Creating the local conditions for a housing market that is open and inclusive of the city's most vulnerable residents is challenging. How do we overcome the prejudices, biases, or ‘fear of the stranger’ that can be barriers to refugees seeking affordable accommodation, employment or a secure sense of belonging? When does 'my' home become 'our' home?
Learn about Good Ideas:
In Bristol, UK, the #Rethinkingrefugee campaign, led by Ashley Community Housing, successfully challenged misinformation about refugee tenants and shifted landlord attitudes from bias against refugees as liabilities to recognizing them as community assets. Today, the evolving campaign continues to change perceptions of refugees and other vulnerable groups amongst the public, landlords, local authorities and employers.
In Berlin, Germany, the internationally recognized Refugees Welcome initiative provides an easy-to use, secure online platform that lets local residents open their homes and share their living spaces with refugees. Not simply about housing, Refugees Welcome promotes inclusion through co-living which accelerates second language learning and helps refugees get settled, make friends, gain social networks and find employment faster and more easily.