HACI provides information and application assistance to its clients to access affordable housing in Washington, DC. One of the major problems newly arriving refugees face is identifying shelter and accommodation. Most take shelter with some relatives or acquaintances for the initial period following their arrival. Such temporary arrangements do not last and the refugees soon are forced to find their own living situations. Moreover, experience shows that a majority of the African immigrants and refugees who are residents of HACI’s operation area are always on the lookout for a chance to secure affordable housing. This is mainly because most of them are low earners who are struggling to cope with the escalating costs of living in the metropolitan areas of DC, Maryland, and Virginia. 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 significantly lower.
HACI therefore strongly believes that creating affordable housing access for the African refugees and immigrants through its housing program can significantly reduce the amount of income spent on housing thereby enabling their clients to attain a more balanced financial reality in their lives. The organization is closely working with Bread for the City (BFC) and the housing agencies to facilitate housing opportunities for its clients in the DC area.
· Identify 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