Partner with Local Resettlement Agencies

AAGD Updates , Affordable Housing ,

Renting to Refugees: Information for Property Owners & Management Companies

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Since the 1970s, resettlement agencies in Texas have supported and guided refugees through the process of transitioning to life in America. Operating as a one-stop center of services, agencies provide immediate aid to new arrivals, including food, shelter and financial assistance. Through a network of partners, staff, and volunteers, resettlement agencies offer access to tools of self-sufficiency, such as job placement and employment skills, clothing, education, English-language classes and cultural/community orientation. Housing is essential in this process and a collaborative approach to improving access to long-term housing solutions for refugees will develop more opportunities for families to become members of communities.

Refugees are men, women and children who have fled their home country as a result of political instability, armed conflict, persecution, or other acts of violence, and have crossed an international border to find safety. 

To qualify for refugee resettlement in the U.S., a person must come from a country or belong to a group designated by the U.S. Department of State, according to an extensive vetting process.

Refugees have a proven history of perseverance and determination, becoming stable, long-term residents who positively contribute to the American economy. They are supported by agencies, at no cost to them or property owners, who function as focused guides, walking alongside them in attaining and maintaining stable and safe housing. This agency-based support offers unique advantages to both refugees and housing providers, streamlining and supporting the process.

  LANDLORD OPPORTUNITIES:   AGENCY’S ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
  • Gain access to high-quality potential tenants, which can contribute to fewer vacancies and shorter vacancy periods.
  • Clients receive initial financial support and landlords receive vendor-paid rent from the agencies.
  • Tenants have access to case management support and interpretation services.
  • Agencies help residents understand a lease, and understand their obligations related to apt maintenance, payments, security deposits, etc.
  • Support from the agencies in the event of any issue or concern, including mediation if necessary.
  • The opportunity to make a difference – by giving refugees a safe environment, allowing them to build a rental history and establish themselves in the U.S.
  • Match residents with available properties that meet their needs.
  • Provide vendor-paid rental assistance for clients.
  • Facilitate lease signings.
  • Provide household supplies and furnishings for residents
  • Help new arrivals set-up utilities, etc.
  • Train residents on home safety and emergency procedures.
  • Teach residents about housing arrangements, rules and guidelines of rental, and general housing safety practices.
  • Support new arrivals in the leasing process.
  • Work with landlords when issues arise with refugee residents related to the condition and use of apartments.

Yes - refugees are legally documented residents of the U.S. They are in the country legally, authorized to work, receive public benefits, and obtain a social security card after arrival. Below is an overview of refugee documentation to meet screening criteria needs.

Rental Screening Criteria Standard Documentation Equivalent Refugee Documentation
Criminal History Criminal Background Check I-94 documents, visas, and/or Travel Documents prove that an individual has passed extensive background checks by six U.S. government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security prior to their U.S. arrival.
Ability to Pay Rent Income Verification Credit Check Refugees arrive with no credit history in this country. However, refugees are eligible for cash assistance programs designed to pay for housing costs. Agencies also assist with securing employment as soon as possible.
Rental History Landlord Reference Refugees have no rental history in the U.S. However, they go through orientation to teach them their responsibilities as residents.

Questions? 

Contact Sahil Gilani with the Texas Office for Refugees
Email: sgilani@ccdofw.org
Call: 469-544-3255

Download the Full Flyer      INTERESTED? GET STARTED HERE