How do refugees pay rent and what documentation can refugees submit with their rental applications?

Refugees demonstrate perseverance and determination. They repeatedly show strong desire to create healthy homes and prosperous futures. Refugees are culturally diverse and capable community members who are eager to establish themselves in and contribute to American society. Refugees do not arrive in the US with the documentation the average American has, such as a Social Security card, credit/rental history and employment history in the United States. They can however, provide evidence of legal status, reliable income if employed, and agency support to help resolve any tenant-landlord issues that might arise.

Ukrainian refugees in the USA face several challenges when trying to find permanent housing, particularly given the circumstances of the unexpected invasion and their lack of preparation:

  • Limited Financial Resources: Many Ukrainian refugees had to flee their homes in Ukraine without time to prepare or save money. This leaves them with limited financial resources to secure housing in the USA, where the cost of living can be high.
  • Lack of Sponsor-Provided Housing: While sponsors often help refugees with resettlement, they may not always provide housing. This means refugees must navigate the competitive housing market on their own.
  • Limited Knowledge of Local Housing Markets: Ukrainian refugees may not be familiar with the nuances of the U.S. housing market, including rent prices, neighborhoods, and local rental procedures, making it challenging to find suitable housing.
  • Language Barriers: Language differences can make it difficult for refugees to communicate with landlords, access housing information online, or understand rental agreements, which can further complicate the housing search.
  • Discrimination and Bias: Refugees may face discrimination in the housing market due to their national origin or refugee status, which can lead to difficulties in finding housing or being denied rental applications.
  • Uncertainty about the Future: The uncertain political and economic situation in Ukraine may make refugees hesitant to commit to long-term housing arrangements, as they may hope to return home if conditions improve.
  • Overcrowding and Temporary Housing: Some Ukrainian refugees may initially stay in overcrowded or temporary housing situations, such as with friends or relatives, while they search for more stable accommodations.
  • Competition for Affordable Housing: Affordable housing options in the USA can be limited, and Ukrainian refugees may face competition from other individuals and families seeking affordable rental units.

These challenges highlight the need for support services and community assistance to help Ukrainian refugees secure stable and affordable housing as they rebuild their lives in the USA.