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US Refugee Resettlement Agencies Unable to Find Housing for Afghan Refugees

Afghan Evacuee relocation organizations are working to arrange housing for around 53,000 Afghanis (on military bases) in the U.S. who will sooner or later be moved. But the refugee resettlement agencies are facing an expensive housing marketplace.

Refugee organizations, each year arrange living places (houses or apartments) for refugees, once they arrive in the US. It’s one of the daunting tasks that often take months to happen before any refugee reaches America.

But this time, the feverish removal of Afghan expats from Afghanistan has made the process chaotic, with different organizations are vexing to discover housing for Afghan (with limited funds) refugees who are already in the United States.

US Refugee Resettlement Agencies Unable to Find Housing for Afghan Refugees

The trouble is compounded by the point that expat organizations were at present under stress, because of years of little funds (under the Trump administration), that make them lay off employees and close offices. That also gives a signal to the fact that they have lost working relations with landowners.

The federal government of the United States offers payment of almost $2,275 (for only one time) per Afghan refugee and agencies that serve them. $1,225 of the allocated amount is available for agencies that they can use for direct support from housing to basic necessities, furniture to silverware. The other amount of the allocated money would be used to cover managerial expenses. On the other side, external aid, charity, and donations can also be added to those amounts.

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah (president and CEO at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, a refugee resettlement agency), explained that the housing problem is something that Americans are facing but visualize approaching it (when you don’t have a nest egg).

It means you don’t have a disposable income and you don’t have landowner references or relations.

US Struggles to Provide Housing to Afghan Refugees
US Struggles to Provide Housing to Afghan Refugees

According to a report from Apartment List (a rental listing site) renting has become expensive, with US national median rent has flown up to $1,302, which is up to 15% than the last year.

According to an official, until recently some of the Afghan refugees have left the 8 military installations. Those are now being used to temporarily relocate Afghan evacuees while agencies try to finish the arrangements (ranging from a couple of dozen to a hundred per day).

According to a senior government official, to solve this difficult situation we need to move thousands of refugees per week. We’re also aware of the fact that we need to create the right balance for example if we move them without proper planning (before we have adequate housing and the other wrap-around services that people need set up), chances are they could find themselves in a quandary where they can’t succeed.

Our biggest challenges are discovering inexpensive rental properties and contacting the new property owners. I see city-wise, we find that there are simply few rental properties available and some landowners are simply undecided to rent to refugees who don’t have a credit history.

Refugee spokesperson says that Airbnb has announced that Airbnb.org which is an independent NGO (non-profit organization), will offer temporary residence to almost 20,000 Afghan evacuees globally. And government officials said that this is great support but we need to find a long-term residence for Afghan refugees.

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