A place to live, a place to stay: a good practice guide for housing in refugee resettlement
Brussels, 11 June 2014 - In many European cities and municipalities, housing for migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable and low income groups is becoming increasingly difficult to find. For humanitarian programmes such as resettlement, which involves transferring a refugee from a country of first asylum to a European country, a lack of appropriate housing is increasingly highlighted as a factor affecting countries' readiness to receive refugees, for whom resettlement is often a lifesaving solution. With increasing numbers of refugees in need of protection, such as those affected by the current Syrian refugee crisis, there is a need for many more European cities and their local partners to offer a safe haven.
In order to inspire creative solutions and new initiatives in housing for refugee resettlement, ICMC Europe and the North West Gateway Resettlement Partnership of the UK are pleased to announce the publication of "A Place to Live, a Place to Stay: A Good Practice Guide for Housing in Refugee Resettlement". The publication is produced in the framework of the SHARE Network, an ICMC-led initiative to build a network of European regions, cities and their civil society partners involved in and/or with a commitment to refugee resettlement, integration and protection.
"A Place to Live, a Place to Stay: A Good Practice Guide for Housing in Refugee Resettlement" explores how the issue of housing for refugee resettlement can be addressed in a way that ensures cities can offer places for resettled refugees and plan resettlement programmes that enable them to settle, integrate and thrive in their new cities and municipalities. Based on the outcomes of comparative research and consultation with partners and stakeholders of the SHARE Network in nine European countries, and with input from the 34 practitioners and policymakers that contributed their knowledge and expertise as part of the SHARE Housing Expert Group, the publication:
- provides a comparative overview of housing for refugee resettlement in Europe;
- identifies good practice in housing for resettled refugees at the local, regional and national levels across Europe;
- makes recommendations for policy and practice development in the areas of national, regional and local cooperation to implement resettlement quotas, finding housing for refugee resettlement, and housing introduction, integration support and welcoming communities;
- includes case study interviews with a private landlord, municipality housing worker and previously resettled refugee;
- highlights opportunities for funding housing for resettled refugees presented by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) for 2014-20.
The scope of our research and the resulting publication reflect the foundational role of housing in both initial reception and long-term integration, and the crucial presence of welcoming local communities in the neighbourhoods in which housing is located. It also highlights the value of partnerships - at local, regional and national levels, and between public authorities, political representatives, civil society organisations and local citizens - in underpinning sustainable and good quality resettlement programmes, including for housing.
Experiences in the SHARE to date have demonstrated the need for practical tools and opportunities for exchange, of the kind the SHARE Network facilitates, to grow and strengthen the capacity of European regional and local resettlement. We hope that this publication will provide inspiration and guidance for regional and local actors in Europe to support humanitarian programmes by providing lifesaving shelter, welcome and a place to stay for resettled refugees.