One of the major problems newly arriving refugees face is shelter and accommodations. HACI provides information and application assistance to its clients to help access affordable housing in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
Most take shelter with some relatives or acquaintances for the initial period of their arrival. Such temporary arrangements do not last and the refugees soon are forced to find their own arrangements. We have many reports from those seeking temporary housing after the initial housing has expired that they are overcharged for these living quarters. Moreover, experience shows that a majority of the African immigrants and refugees are always on the lookout to secure affordable housing. This is mainly because most of them are low earners who are struggling to cope with the ever-escalating cost of living here. A study conducted by The Migration Policy Institute in 2012 indicates that although the education attainment of most African immigrants is as good as the host population, the income earning level is often significantly lower.
HACI therefore strongly believes that by creating access to affordable housing for the African refugees and immigrants through its housing program, there will be significant improvement in the level of income and contribute to their stability. In doing so the organization is closely working with Bread for the City (BFC) and the housing agencies to facilitate housing opportunities for its clients in DC area. Accordingly, the major activities to be conducted in this regard can be summarized as follows:
- Sign up those refugees and immigrants who need support with their housing search.
- Work in close coordination with BFC in identifying available housing opportunities
- Conduct orientation sessions to raise awareness of clients on matters concerning housing access
- Compile housing applications for clients
- Follow up with the progress of the clients’ housing applications
how to communicate