Refugee Housing

17 Replies

In the Louisville, KY market (as in many other markets) we have a large population of refugees and immigrants. There is a huge need for reputable landlords to provide housing for this population.

I'm sure these tenants come with their own unique set of needs.  Does anyone have experience as a landlord for refugees?  What counsel can you offer?

@Kelly Bankes - KY has a large population of refugees??? From where???? Immigrants are like anyone else.....They have a need for safe housing. If they qualify - rent to them. If not - don't. Not sure where you are going with your question....

You might try calling Catholic Charities and see if they have any needs and/or advice.  I know they did a lot of immigrant assistance at one time.  Let me know if you learn anything interesting and I'll follow the thread as well.  

Best,

 - Chuck

Originally posted by @Justin Tahilramani :

@Kelly Dillon - KY has a large population of refugees??? From where???? Immigrants are like anyone else.....They have a need for safe housing. If they qualify - rent to them. If not - don't. Not sure where you are going with your question....

 Yes, as surprising as it sounds, we have a huge population of refugees from all over the world here in Louisville.  The reason I ask specifically about refugees is that they get assistance from their resettlement agency for the first x number of months they are here (that goes towards rent), but are then expected to be self-sufficient.  I am most curious about how that transition goes and wonder if anyone here has experienced it from a landlord's perspective.  

Chuck, last week I talked to someone in refugee resettlement at the state level and she said that they are all the time looking for housing for their placements.  She said it's one of the most difficult parts of the job.  They always struggle to find places that are well-maintained.

Is the state subsidizing their housing?  Can they go section 8?  Do you know what they are looking for in terms of parts of town, size of property, and cost?

Theron

I just heard an article on NPR about the number of Syrian refugees relocating to the US.  Every state (except Wyoming) has a program for helping these people.  Various non-profits are also working on the situation as well.  Seems like a good use of property to me.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

Is the state subsidizing their housing?  Can they go section 8?  Do you know what they are looking for in terms of parts of town, size of property, and cost?

 Honestly Theron, I'm not sure if it's their resettlement organization, federal, state funds, or a combination that is providing the initial subsidy.  I know that yes, they can eventually go section 8, though I'm not sure how long that process takes.  Honestly, I think many agencies are so swamped with need they take most any part of town.  Here in Louisville it's often in the South End.  Two/three bedrooms are often necessary as the families may be large.  I honestly don't know a price range.  

You may find this same situation in your market. In Akron there is a place called the international institute or something like that and it places refugees in that market. They cover the rent initially while the family gets settled. I believe two months, but they provide soft assistance after that. 

They spoke at our REIA once. I think a lot of Nepalese if memory serves. They had an excellent track record because these people are strongly motivated to succeed.

Originally posted by @Daryl Anderson :

@Grant Francke We provide refugee housing in Cleveland, Ohio.  We have been doing this for about 4 years or so and our experience has been very positive.  We have provided housing to approximately 50 families over these last few years. 

 what type of method do you guys use to find immigrants to rent to? And is their a special process or paperwork in order to obtain refugee tenets?  

over the last several years we have built very strong relationships with all three agencies in Cleveland. Is Together, Cleveland Catholic charities and international services center. 

There is no special process. They basically just send a caseworker to your property to make sure it is in good shape and then send a check. 

Originally posted by @Justin Tahilramani - KY has a large population of refugees??? From where???? Immigrants are like anyone else.....They have a need for safe housing. If they qualify - rent to them. If not - don't. Not sure where you are going with your question....

Well, not exactly.....when you first come to the US, you have no social security, no credit history, no transportation, perhaps no job, etc.

So, while I believe most refugees (and immigrants in general) will be highly motivated, the process the landlord uses to "qualify" them may need to be slightly different.

@Grant Francke we have had some experiences where they have been late. Mostly this has been due to them not understanding when and how to pay (i.e. their not having checking accounts.) we have been more proactive with describing in detail how we need to be paid. That has helped to mitigate tardy payments. I want to emphasize though that when they have been late, we have been able to talk to the refugee organization who will help the process.