RENTING TO REFUGEES

AAGD Updates ,

Information for Property Owners & Management Companies

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Catholic Charities, International Rescue Committee and Refugee Services of Texas, have been resettling refugees in Dallas since the 1970s. The agencies support newly arrived refugees by providing immediate aid, including food and shelter. Through a network of staff members and volunteers, we provide access to tools of self-reliance: housing, job placement and employment skills, clothing, education, English-language classes and community orientation. Each agency serves as a free one-stop center for refugees’ needs during the pivotal first months in the U.S.

  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.
  • Tenants understand a lease, and understand their obligations related to 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 clients with available properties that meet their needs.
  • Provide vendor-paid rental assistance for clients.
  • Facilitate lease signings.
  • Provide household supplies and furnishings for clients. ~ Help new arrivals start utilities, phone services, etc.
  • Train clients on home safety and emergency procedures.
  • Teach clients 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 clients related to the condition and use of apartments.
  • Provide rental assistance for clients.

Screening Criteria Usual 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. They are in the country legally, authorized to work, receive public benefits, and obtain a social security card after arrival.
Ability to Pay Rent Income Verification Credit Check Refugees arrive with no credit history in this country. However, all refugees are eligible for cash assistance programs designed to pay for housing costs for an avg. of four months. Agencies also assist with securing employment as soon as possible.
Rental History Landlord Reference Refugees have no rental history in the U.S. However, refugees go through orientation to teach them their responsibilities as tenants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are refugees? Refugees are men, women and children who have fled their country of origin as a result of political instability, armed conflict, or other acts of violence.

How does a refugee qualify for resettlement to the U.S.? 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.

Do refugees have documentation of legal residency in the U.S.? Yes; refugees are legal documented residents of the U.S.

Why should I rent to refugees? Refugees have a proven attitude of perseverance and determination. Refugees are culturally diverse and responsible community members who are eager to establish themselves in and contribute to American society.

Questions? 

Contact Sahil Gilani sgilani@ccdallas.org; 469-544-3255

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